Report: Panthers target Bill O’Brien, Jay Gruden as next offensive coordinator

2021 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
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Word on Saturday was that the Panthers plan to bring head coach Matt Rhule back for a third season and that his first order of business will be finding a new offensive coordinator.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Panthers are targeting former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and former Washington head coach Jay Gruden for the job. He adds that they are also interested in speaking with Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, who would get a chance to call plays in Carolina that he doesn’t have with Sean McVay running the offense.

The Panthers fired Joe Brady during the season and running backs coach Jeff Nixon took the job on an interim basis.

O’Brien is currently Alabama’s offensive coordinator and he is set to speak to the Jaguars about their head coaching vacancy this week. Interest from the Panthers gives him two potential avenues back into the NFL ranks.

Gruden was the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator in 2020, but was fired at the end of the year and is currently out of coaching.

11 responses to “Report: Panthers target Bill O’Brien, Jay Gruden as next offensive coordinator

  1. When did BOB become a hot name in coaching circles? It’s been less than 2 years since he ran the Texans into the ground and his hand picked accomplice, Easterby, is still in power.

    It’s almost a certainty that the person who hires him will be fired in 2 years or BOB will because BOB doesn’t coexist with anyone.

  2. O’Brien should be a head coach. He had Houston competing for the super bowl, but as soon as he left, they went into the dump (on the field). They were a dumpster fire off the field, and O’Brien was good enough to keep everything going. His coaching is second to none. Jay Gruden is also an excellent coach. Nobody wins in Washington. You can’t judge a coach by that. Jay should also get another head coaching opportunity. Matt Rhule is an offensive genius. He doesn’t need an offensive guy to come in and install a new system. But if one of these guys can put their heads together with Rhule, and come up with something together, it would be great. Either way, coaching isn’t the problem in Carolina, but Rhule might not want to devote too much time to play calling. They might be drafting a new QB, so it’s possible Rhule would bring in a top coach to help with that. Jay Gruden would be a good guy for that job. O’Brien, most likely will get a head coaching job.

  3. O’Brien should get another HC offer. When folks look back, they will see a coach who won 4 AFC South Division Titles in 6 years. And two of those Division Titles were won with Hoyer and Osweiler as the starters. The Colts had Luck, Gore and Hilton, yet the Texans still won the Division Titles with Hoyer and Osweiler. That is the definition of good coaching, IMHO!

  4. Matt Rhule is a disaster and a loser and so is owner David Tepper for hanging on to him. So who or whomever Rhule hires will not make any difference at all. Eventually Matt Rhule will be fired and Panthers fans will be suffering a long time in the future because Tepper and Rhule have no idea on how to get this franchise turned around. They are a laughingstock in the NFL and it is what it is.

  5. There’s no upside to taking the OC job in Carolina. They have no QB. Their biggest offensive weapon–McCaffery–is constantly getting injured. As soon as things get bad, Rhule will file the OC in an attempt to save his job. Even if the OC doesn’t get fired, Rhule will likely be fired at the end of the season and the next coach will probably clean house. Make no mistakes, this is a one year job. Why leave a job with security for one that will have you looking for another job next year?

  6. I like this! Jay Gruden was here with my skins (WFT) and was a great talent evaluator and coordinator. Some of our best starters are still here because he has a natural eye for talent. And he has a funny, engaging and HONEST personality. I’m a huge Jay Gruden guy!

    This paring makes sense. Add Fangio as DC and watch out!

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