Ranking the 6 shortlisted candidates for Panthers head coach in 2023

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Steve Wilks
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Steve Wilks /
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Carolina Panthers
(Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) Jim Caldwell /

Carolina Panthers will target Jim Caldwell

To say the Carolina Panthers interviewed Jim Caldwell on Monday just to comply with the Rooney Rule is unfair to the experienced coach. His body of work throughout a prolific stint in the NFL deserves respect and he could be a lively outsider for the role.

Caldwell has previous head coaching experience with the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts, doing a creditable job in difficult circumstances. His work as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach with the Miami Dolphins has also come in for significant praise, with the growth of Tua Tagovailoa there for all to see under his guidance.

This goes against the grain of hiring a young offensive mind given that Caldwell is 67 years old. But if the Panthers are truly intent on finding a franchise quarterback from the college ranks and bringing them along gradually, this is an option that cannot be overlooked.

Caldwell is a proven leader of men, which is another key trait behind any successful NFL head coach. Whether he’s a little long in the tooth to get an opportunity is a completely different question.

One only has to look at how Caldwell is perceived in league circles to see what he could potentially bring to the Panthers. He’s also knowledgeable enough to know the team’s foundation and continue the fine work done by Steve Wilks throughout the campaign.