Secondary coach Perry Fewell will be the interim for the remainder of the season, but the Panthers will be looking to find a new coach next year with experience and credentials to lead the team back to prominence. There are several candidates for the job that would be a strong fit for the Panthers style of offense.
Given Cam Newton’s mobility when healthy and Carolina’s speed on both sides of the ball, the right coach could allow the Panthers’ players to perform at their best.
Here’s four possible candidates to man the sidelines next season in Charlotte.
The Cowboys coach is very much on the hot seat this season and could personally want out of Jerry-world after this season. That choice might not be his as Jones continues to be cryptic about the situation. If Garrett is let loose from his job in Dallas, the Panthers opening would be a seamless transition. He would inherit a mobile quarterback looking to revitalize his career and a generational running back who continues to get better by the week. For Garrett, the choice to move to Carolina would be a no-brainer.
The Patriots’ offensive coordinator has gotten cold feet before when offered a coaching position. His Colts tenure lasted less than a day before he decided to return to the Patriots in a coordinator position. This year, his play-calling has come under fire as New England’s offense has sputtered. But with a younger quarterback and a different offense, he could find success by switching things up offensively. And think about this: he made James White into a dual-threat star out of the backfield, just imagine what he could do with Christian McCaffrey.
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The Oklahoma coach has been considered an offensive protegee when it comes to his uptempo style and ability to churn out three consecutive Heisman Award candidates. Two of those have been mobile quarterbacks, a trend that is starting to take over the NFL. Cam Newton has been known to break off runs on occasion and could be used in an uptempo style under Riley. Or perhaps he would bring Jalen Hurts along with him to Carolina and begin developing him for professional-level play. Either way, Riley could add a new dimension to an already dynamic Carolina offense.
And of course, the man who can’t seem to beat Ohio State. But he wouldn’t have to worry about that back in the NFL. With his popularity fading fast in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh could look to find his way back to the NFL and landing with the Panthers would be a perfect fit. While with San Francisco, he led the 49ers to a Super Bowl using dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick as one of the top offenses in the NFL. The 49ers ultimately lost the Super Bowl that year but enjoyed a run of success under Harbaugh that could be duplicated in Carolina.