Report: Panthers interviewing special teams coaches

AP

Panthers special teams coach Bruce DeHaven has continued to work after being diagnosed with cancer, embodying the team’s “Keep Pounding” motto which began during Sam Mills’ own fight with the disease.

But it appears they want to at least find some help for him.

According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, the Panthers are interviewing Bucs assistant Kevin O’Dea and 49ers assistant Thomas McGaughey for a special teams coaching position with the team.

It’s unclear if that’s a reflection on DeHaven’s condition, as neither he nor the team has said much about it. Last week, he buried the hatchet with Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who fired him as Buffalo’s special teams coach following the Music City Miracle in the 1999 playoffs.

The Panthers brought 67-year-old Russ Purnell in as an assistant to DeHaven this year, so this could be for a role supplementing DeHaven.

UPDATE 12:02 p.m. ET: Marvez follows up, saying the interviews are to replace Purnell, and that assistant coach Curtis Fuller who helped with special teams last year will return to exclusively coach defensive backs next year.