Could the Carolina Panthers face a fight to keep Phil Snow in 2022?

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Marquis Haynes /

Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow could get some head coaching interest in 2022 after a sensational start to the season.

The Carolina Panthers’ defense has been nothing short of phenomenal over the first two games. There was a quiet sense of optimism surrounding those associated with the organization that something special was brewing, but the unit has taken the NFL storm and is currently ranked No. 1 in multiple categories.

There were some encouraging signs on defense over the second half of 2020 after an incredibly slow start. This had something to do with a lack of talent and not much experience across the board, something the Panthers did a tremendous job of rectifying in free agency with some shrewd pickups.

Defensive coordinator Phil Snow deserves all the credit in the world. He went through some growing pains in the pro ranks despite plenty of experience at the college level last time around, but what we’re seeing from a scheme perspective through Week 2 leaves plenty of reasons for optimism moving forward.

As the old saying goes, it’s horses for courses.

Carolina’s versatility and dynamic players make the options in terms of style endless for Snow, who is clearly loving every minute of utilizing such outstanding weapons on a weekly basis.

His game plans against the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints were flawless. Head coach Matt Rhule lauded Snow for his play-calling prowess following the team’s dominant  26-7 victory over their NFC South rivals.

All the talk has been of Joe Brady potentially getting a head coaching position next year. He received a number of interviews despite just one season as Carolina’s offensive coordinator without getting a top position, but it might not be too far away and especially if he can turn Sam Darnold’s career around.

However, the Panthers might also have a fight on their hands regarding Snow if things continue in this manner.

Carolina Panthers would fight hard to keep Phil Snow.

Snow is a little long in the tooth compared to other first-time head coaches at the next level. But the sterling work he’s doing won’t go unnoticed by those looking for a new figure to lead them once the 2021 season comes to a conclusion.

Whether this is something that would interest Snow at this stage of his career is anybody’s guess. He’s been a staunch Matt Rhule loyalist at Temple, Baylor, and now the Panthers, so stepping into the unknown at 65 years old – 66 in December – is a massive gamble that could be more stressful than it’s worth.

This is all hearsay, at least for now.

And certainly, something Snow isn’t going to be thinking about two games into the campaign.

The Panthers are building a special group on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve completely renovated the roster with strong draft picks and free agents with plenty of savvy, but Snow is the mastermind that’s making it all click into place.

Snow’s reputation is growing by the week. So teams will at least do their due diligence and inquire whether he’d be interested in hearing more about a potential head coaching opportunity.

It does appear unlikely, which is good news for Carolina.

They could ill-afford to lose two coordinators in the same offseason at this stage of their rebuild. Considering how influential Snow is to their chances of playoff contention, those in power should fight until the death to keep the respected figure around.

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This scenario is all well into the future. What’s important for Snow and the Panthers is building on what’s fast becoming a sensational start to the season.