4 possible replacements for Mike Phair as Panthers DL coach

(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) Dennis Johnson
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) Dennis Johnson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Freddie Roach /

Freddie Roach

If the Carolina Panthers wanted to be a little bolder with the next defensive line coach, then trying to acquire someone with a growing reputation such as Freddie Roach would be in the conversation.

The popular figure was returned to Alabama last year after a standout playing career with the Crimson Tide, which came on the back of three successful years coaching at Ole Miss.

Roach is a no-nonsense individual who has made a tremendous transition to a coaching role. He did an exceptional job with Alabama’s talented defensive line group on their way to a convincing National Championship this season and although moving away from somewhere close to his heart would be a difficult decision, an opportunity in the NFL doesn’t come along every day.

One notable influence Roach has made on the incoming college recruits is evident in Christian Barmore. The defensive tackle has gone from a mid-round afterthought to a possible first-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, which is down in no small part to his incredible development under Roach this season.

This would be in keeping with the Panthers’ desire to give college coaches a shot at the next level, which has been particularly evident since Rhule made the same transition when he signed a seven-year, $60 million deal to become Carolina’s head coach.

It would be an eye-catching appointment, to say the least. But one that shouldn’t be ruled out completely.