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Panthers aren’t offering much security during staff search

Ron Rivera AP

The Panthers have interviewed some guys you may have heard of, but that they’re mostly hiring their own speaks in part to what they’re offering.

Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that they’ve interviewed Giants defensive assistant Al Holcomb for their vacant linebackers coach job. He’s never been a position coach in the NFL, though he has the requisite tie to new Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman.

It’s the latest underwhelming name in an offseason full of them.

They replaced offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski by promoting quarterbacks coach Mike Shula, then back-filled Shula’s job by moving Ken Dorsey over from their pro personnel department.

They filled special teams and receivers coach jobs by promoting guys who were assistants to the assistants, and brought back running backs coach Jim Skipper after he was fired by the Titans.

Part of the Panthers problem is that they aren’t able to offer as much security as other teams, in the literal or figurative sense.

They interviewed Hue Jackson and Pat Shurmur for the coordinator job before keeping it in-house with Shula (in the name of continuity), and brought in veteran special teams coaches Dave Toub and Bobby April for interviews, but both took jobs elsewhere.

Part of the reason, according to multiple league sources, is that the Panthers offered at least some of their candidates one-year deals.

With head coach Ron Rivera entering a make-or-break season with a 13-19 record, the entire staff’s on a one-year deal from a practical standpoint. But coaches also like to get paid, so the lack of multi-year security in terms of contract hasn’t helped them attract top talent.

In the case of special teams in particular (where they’ve ranked last in the league three of the last four years), their inability or unwillingness to make longer-term offers might have cost them a chance at an established coach such as Toub (who went to Kansas City) or April (Oakland), and left them promoting Rivera’s old Cal teammate Richard Rodgers, who filled the job on an interim basis last season after Brian Murphy was fired.

While it might not inspire much confidence, it does indicate that they’re letting Rivera do his thing this year, with the obvious implication that they don’t want to be tied to excess contractual obligations if it doesn’t work.

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14 Responses to “Panthers aren’t offering much security during staff search”
  1. nfloracle says: Jan 25, 2013 10:11 AM

    Might not inspire much confidence?

    What’s going on in Charlotte inspires NO confidence. Starting to look like another season mirroring Fox’s last year with the Panthers, and that was agony to sit through that season.

  2. ncphilliesguy says: Jan 25, 2013 10:14 AM

    Bottom line, JR doesn’t like to spend money.

  3. FinFan68 says: Jan 25, 2013 10:24 AM

    I can see not wanting to spend a ton of money but the owner is not being smart here. He is wasting both time (2013 season) and money (anything paid to this staff). It looks as if they will start over after next year. Why wait? What purpose does that serve? He will lose more fans and money by doing this. Is he planning to sell the team this year? Nothing makes sense.

  4. mustbechris says: Jan 25, 2013 10:26 AM

    Christ, just fire Rivera already then. If you’re basically deciding ahead of time that he’s gone next year, then you might as well make him gone this year for his sake and for the sake of your franchise.

    I don’t understand why the Panthers do a lot of the things that they do.

  5. wwttww says: Jan 25, 2013 12:02 PM

    …at least the Hornets might be coming back.

  6. pilot2011 says: Jan 25, 2013 12:19 PM

    Changing everything around now I think would set the this team back, they really aren’t that far from being a pretty good team.

    So what exactly is wrong with hiring assistant to assistants anyway? Coaches gotta start somewhere, and for many of these coaches they know its a one year deal unless they do a great job… People tend to work harder when they know their job is on the line.

    I like the coaching hires to be honest.

  7. pillowporkers says: Jan 25, 2013 12:26 PM

    As a Vikings fan, I can remember back to last year when they couldn’t land anyone big name for the DC spot. Everything was in house. This was part of the reason people had the Vikings going 3-13 this year again. In the end, it worked out. I hated when we promoted our cornerbacks coach Alan Williams (31st ranked D in points allowed in 2011) to DC, and I wasn’t alone. It made no sense. Well, Alan Williams has been great! Without the greatest talent in the world (I’ll admit Harrison Smith22 was a nice piece that wasn’t there last year), to upgrade to the 14th overall scoring D from the 31st is a nice improvement.

    Moral of the story, don’t fret Panthers fans just because you didn’t land a big name person. Steve Spagnuolo was a big name signing for the Saints. Greg Williams was a big name signing for the Rams (there was some extenuating circumstances with this one I’ll admit). These guys are now jobless. Big names don’t always bring success. See what some of the young talented coaches you have in your own system have to offer. Not saying it will work, I’m just saying it can work.

  8. terraj35 says: Jan 25, 2013 12:42 PM

    It becomes more and more apparent every year that the Panthers aren’t going anywhere with JR in charge. He sees profit margins and nothing else…Remember he was the lone owner who voted against reinstating the old refs after that MNF disaster in Seattle with the replacement refs. If that’s not an obvious sign of his priorities I dont know what is.

  9. uhnoreally says: Jan 25, 2013 1:41 PM

    Owners/GMs should pay attention to the hires – shaky head Coaches (HC) are now hiring young inexperienced guys so they can’t be replace the HC.

    Ensuring a full season – so they can’t get fired mid season.

  10. ncbengalmike says: Jan 25, 2013 1:49 PM

    nfloracle says:
    Jan 25, 2013 10:11 AM
    Might not inspire much confidence?

    What’s going on in Charlotte inspires NO confidence. Starting to look like another season mirroring Fox’s last year with the Panthers, and that was agony to sit through that season.

    ________________________________
    Actually they are the new version of the 1990’s Bengals

  11. finsphan says: Jan 25, 2013 3:48 PM

    so let me get this strait, all last week there articles upon articles about not giving minority unknown coaches a shot and all the outrage, basically because of the color and no name. so Carolina goes and hires a bunch of no name assistants to the assistants and now they are getting bashed for it. why? cause they see not black? don’t sit there and write stories about how no new coaches will never come because they don’t get the chances and here there is multiple guys getting the chance to prove them smelf’s and you question it. unbelievable

  12. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jan 26, 2013 12:29 AM

    Rivera is in a tough spot that likely will not work next season. Trying to get good coaches to come into a sinking ship leaves Rivera slim pickings among coaches.

  13. drunkencat1 says: Jan 26, 2013 12:32 AM

    Typical Gantt hack job. I only had to read the headline to know who wrote it.

    Stupid Carolina fans (and media) think we can’t have any success unless we bring somebody who has already had success. Our only Super Bowl coach was a guy who had never been a HC before.

    The Panthers biggest issues are not who is coaching this team, but what the GM can do with the previous GM’s screwups.

  14. joebaloba says: Jan 26, 2013 12:03 PM

    Hiring shaky assistants will guarantee NOT being fired? I knew drugs had become a problem.

    If Nick Saban isn’t up for hire, who ya want? JR knows ball better than Gantt or any of us. He played with Unitas. And if the bottom line is important, there is no better way of shoring that up than through winning. I’m still with the team that went to the Super Bowl earlier in its existence than any other true expansion franchise in NFL history. If Hurney had signed Anquan Boldin, had had better luck with Otah, and had really prioritized the cornerbacks, we’d be griping about something else. JR addressed the GM problem.

    I just want a guaranteed cheap ticket, like the Braves and Cowboys…

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