5 lively outsiders for the Carolina Panthers head coaching job in 2023

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Pep Hamilton
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Pep Hamilton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Wes Phillips /

Carolina Panthers could target Wes Phillips

Much was made about the appointment of Kevin O’Connell and how he might fare on the Minnesota Vikings without the security blanket of Sean McVay overseeing the offense. Despite these concerns, the former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator has already proven more than capable of leading an NFL franchise while the defending Super Bowl champions struggle significantly without his presence.

O’Connell has the Vikings at 6-1 and destined for a deep postseason run barring anything drastic occurring over the second half of 2022. Minnesota’s offense looks completely different from the stale end of Mike Zimmer’s reign and this might bring some head coaching interest Wes Phillips’ way in the not-too-distant future.

Phillips was the passing game coordinator with the Rams during their successful Vince Lombardi trophy quest in 2021. Following O’Connell to the Vikings with the promise of extra responsibilities is clearly having a positive effect, but whether this is too soon for someone with one year of coordinator experience is another matter.

A big plus for Phillips comes from coaching various positional groups during his time in the league. He’ll also be picking up a significant amount from O’Connell in terms of his relaxed approach, offensive prowess, and how best to successfully transition into a head coaching role.

Others could be preferred by the Carolina Panthers. But if the Vikings go on to accomplish great things in 2022, his name will come up.