On Black Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula “won’t interview [for head-coaching jobs] while his team is playing.” Now that all seven vacancies have been filled, Shula says that wasn’t true. (Unless, I suppose, the report was literal.)
“All I said was I’m focused on the playoffs,” Shula tells FOX Sports. “The other quote was if it did happen, if I was approached, I’d have to consider that at the time. Those were my only quotes.”
In hindsight, Shula should have said something at the time Rapoport reported that Shula wasn’t interested in interviewing. Or Shula’s agent should have said something. But there’s one small problem with that.
“Somebody said I had an agent out there talking, too,” Shula said. “I don’t have an agent. I have a friend that helps me, but he definitely wasn’t that person. . . . I don’t know where that [report] came from.”
It apparently came from an agent who represents one or more coaches other than Shula. An agent who was hoping that, as the phone started ringing for coaching interviews, teams would respect Shula’s wishes. Even if those weren’t his wishes.
Perhaps the message to Shula is this: Hire an agent. If agents representing other coaches are going to say things aimed at helping those coaches and hurting Shula, Shula needs an agent who can push back.
Otherwise, Shula will continue to be the offensive coordinator of the Panthers until he retires or is fired. At some point before then, the window of opportunity for Shula to become an NFL head coach will slam shut.