Coming into the offseason the Panthers lost a few coaches, Chudzinski going to the Browns being the highlight of a small “fire sale”. Besides Chudzinski the Panthers hired and some new guys, most of them can be considered a rehire. Yes the Panther’s rehired for the majority of the vacant spots in the coaching staff.
Mike Shula being promoted to Offensive Coordinator was the biggest rehire of the bunch. Hiring Shula as the new Carolina Panthers Offensive Coordinator was a very safe bet, and hopefully a good one. I like the pick of Shula over Pat Shurmur and Hue Jackson, for one reason only; he knows the system Rivera wants to run inside and out. Both Steve Smith and Cam Newton have endorsed Shula in the past weeks, and both of them have said that he was the best pick up on the market. Now while I wish former Chargers Head Coach, Norv Turner, was picked up here instead of Cleveland, I still like the Shula pick.
The other coaching positions that were left open during the beginning of the offseason have all been filled prior to now. Former Assistant Wide Receivers Coach, and Panther standout, Rick Proehl has been promoted to Wide Receivers Coach. Jim Skipper will reprise the role of Running Backs Coach he held from 2002-2010. Most reactions I’ve seen on the web have been very positive to the rehiring and promotion of Jim Skipper and Ricky Proehl respectively. The highly lauded Skipper has been said to be the reason for the fantastic development of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart, or “Double Trouble”.
As for the last two coaching positions to be filled, the Linebackers coach and the Quarterbacks Coach, a position formally held by the current Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula. Both positions have been filled as of now. The Linebackers Coach position has been filled by Al Holcomb. Holcomb comes to Carolina with nearly two decades of coaching experience, including the last four with the New York Giants. He was a defensive assistant for the Giants the past two seasons after spending two seasons as defensive quality control coach. Holcomb was more than likely a transaction through the likes of our new GM Dave Gettleman. The Mike Shula’s replacement as Quarterbacks Coach is Ken Dorsey, who has been promoted from pro scout. An interesting fact about Ken Dorsey, he was a two time finalist for the Heisman Trophy after some standout years with the University of Miami.
Of course we won’t know how these picks to fill the empty positions in the coaching staff will pan out until the regular season, but I think things are looking up for the young team. Rivera and Gettleman definitely have the right pieces of the puzzle; we just need to put them together. Enough about me, what do you think about the new pickups in the coaching staff? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.