Panthers make right move bringing back Ben Jacobs as assistant
The Panthers found a home for the recently retired player.
Ben Jacobs may no longer be a member of the Carolina Panthers active roster, but he will continue to be with the organization in another capacity. Tuesday, it was announced that the linebacker and special teams standout would take on the position of assistant special teams coach as reported by Joe Person of The Athletic.
Jacobs can certainly find a niche here. He will be replacing coach Heath Farwell who left the Panthers in the offseason to take the role of special teams coordinator with the Buffalo Bills. This will also be a reunion of sorts for Jacobs as he will report to special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn. Blackburn and Jacobs were teammates in 2013 in 2014.
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Jacobs will have an interesting mix of players on special teams. Receivers Curtis Samuel and D.J. Moore are just some of the examples. Unlike last year, they may be more involved in the offense, so that may limit what they can do on special teams. It’s a catch-22. Obviously, they will be an asset to the offense, but Jacobs will have to fill the small void left by their absences. Although that will not be his primary job, he will probably have to help Blackburn fill those voids.
Jacobs was a tremendous player while he was here in the sense that he had a ton of heart and always played hard. Special teams is an important part of the game of football, and the Panthers could definitely use someone who was one of the best to do it for their organization as a coach.
It will be interesting to see how he helps in the development of players. As Steve Taranto of 247Sports notes, Andre Smith is a player that could be expected to fill the role of linebacker on special teams. We did not see him play a ton last season, and this could be his first big break.
Something tells me that this is not the last coaching change will see on the part of the Panthers. I do not expect anything major. Rather, I would expect some assistants to come on board later in the offseason. Jacobs is certainly a good start. His experience as a special-teams player combined with the fact that he was just recently involved with the team should help him tremendously. He knows the culture of the organization and he knows what it takes to win games. Hopefully, his work ethic and style will rub off on the rest of the players.