Carolina Panthers request interviews with two offensive coordinators.
The Carolina Panthers parted ways with coach Ron Rivera prior to the season finale in an effort to get a jump start on their coaching search. David Tepper, in just his second season as owner, didn’t want to conduct any interviews behind Rivera’s back and the move also allowed Rivera to become a candidate for other teams earlier than this week.
As a result, Washington is expected to name Rivera their new coach very soon and the Panthers have already met with former Packers coach, Mike McCarthy. The former offensive coordinator for both the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers before his time in Green Bay, it appears Tepper has an expectation for his next coach.
Already having met with one former head coach and past coordinator, Carolina has also requested permission to interview both Josh McDaniels and Eric Bieniemy. The Panthers have never had an offensive minded coach in franchise history and Tepper seems to be leaning toward changing this perspective.
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McDaniels is currently the coordinator for New England and unavailable to interview this week as his team prepares for Wildcard Weekend on Saturday night. The long time Patriots coordinator also has experience as a head coach, taking over in Denver for two seasons (2009-10) before eventually returning to the northeast alongside legendary coach Bill Belichick.
Bieniemy is seeking his first opportunity as a head coach. Serving as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator in each of the past two seasons, his experience as a running back coach led to his ascension among the coaching ranks. Garnering the respect of Andy Reid, Bieniemy is expected to be a contender for many teams in search of new leadership.
As the offseason continues, Tepper will examine all possibilities in an effort to put his stamp on this team. Beginning by showing significant interest in offensive coordinators, the shape of the Panthers franchise appears to be changing.