Panthers owner David Tepper held a session with reporters after firing head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday and he faced questions about what he’s looking for in Rivera’s replacement.
One question was about whether he’d look to the college ranks and Tepper noted “the difficulty of that transition” without ruling it out. He was also asked about favoring a coach with an offensive background to one from the defensive side of the ball.
“In the modern NFL, I think there is a preference for offensive coordinators. I think there are reasons for that,” Tepper said, via the team’s website. “That does not mean that if you find somebody fantastic on the defensive side, I won’t consider it. If he has old-school discipline and modern and innovative processes. The question is if you can have a defensive guy that has that too. He may think the offensive coaches have that more, and then it’s how that gets implemented. The NFL has made rules to lean to the offense. That’s why you’re having more people go that way.”
Teams often look to the opposite of their previous coach when making a new hire, so the prospect of replacing Rivera with an offensive-minded coach isn’t a surprising one on multiple fronts. Finding the right one will be the top priority in Carolina until further notice.