Panthers promote Frank Okam to DL coach, hire Terrance Knighton as assistant

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The Panthers have made a few coaching moves, notably promoting Frank Okam to defensive line coach.

Okam served as Carolina’s assistant defensive line coach last season, the team’s first under head coach Matt Rhule. Okam replaces Mike Phair in the role. The Panthers announced Phair would not return for a second season on Jan. 25.

The club also has hired Don Johnson as a pass rushing specialist, along with Garret McGuire and Terrance Knighton as coaching assistants.

Johnson has been a defensive line coach for the Cardinals, Chargers, Raiders, and Bears.

Knighton tweeted the Panthers’ logo Monday afternoon, saying “Excited about my next chapter!” He was most recently the defensive line coach at Wagner.

Knighton played for Jacksonville, Denver, and Washington from 2009-2015 and spent the 2016 offseason with the Patriots. He recorded 14.0 sacks, 34 tackles for loss, and 38 quarterback hits in 108 career games.

McGuire and Knighton both played under Rhule — McGuire at Baylor and Knighton at Temple.