Shane Steichen enhances Panthers claims with masterful playoff outing

(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) Shane Steichen
(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) Shane Steichen /

Shane Steichen enhanced his claims to become Carolina Panthers head coach with a masterful playoff play-calling outing against the New York Giants.

The Carolina Panthers are winding down their interviews before a new head coach is officially confirmed. Ken Dorsey and Mike Kafka both held discussions with those in power over the weekend, with one more also scheduled before a final outcome emerges.

David Tepper‘s long-awaited meeting with Sean Payton could shift the landscape. Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network stated on Saturday that every team looking to bring the Super Bowl winner on board has agreed to pay whatever the New Orleans Saints are demanding, which means Carolina’s controversial owner is seemingly satisfied with the agreement in place.

While Payton’s potential appointment remains a divisive topic among fans, another candidate enhanced his claims in no uncertain terms during a dominant performance from the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional playoff round.

Shane Steichen gave the Carolina Panthers more to ponder

Even though some analysts were expecting a close game between the Eagles and New York Giants, it was anything but. And credit goes to Shane Steichen for putting a masterful game plan in place that Brian Daboll and his staff weren’t ready for.

Philadelphia ran all over the Giants and more importantly, away from stud defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. Steichen also leaned heavily on quarterback Jalen Hurts, who looked back to his old self en route to a 28-0 halftime lead to end the contest before it started.

This was another fine example of what Steichen could bring to Carolina. His ability to adapt, implement balanced schemes, and maximize the playmakers available caught the eye throughout the campaign – a trend that continued when the knockout stages began.

Steichen’s already interviewed with the Panthers, so there’s nothing more he can do in that regard. However, anyone watching how fluid the Eagles’ offense was in a pressurized setting on Saturday night cannot have been anything other than impressed.

Is this enough to tip the scales in Steichen’s favor? It’s hard to say given Tepper’s unpredictability.

But it shouldn’t go unnoticed, that’s for sure.

Steichen is a hot candidate that’s drawn interest from multiple teams. So once Tepper’s meeting with Payton concludes on Monday, the Panthers must strike with conviction to land their coach of choice.

Steve Wilks might be the guy after impressing as interim head coach. But someone like Steichen follows the modern-day trend around the league and ticks every box regarding what Tepper supposedly wants in his next man at the helm.

Mercifully, this saga will soon be at an end one way or another. Speculation and opinion have been rampant in recent weeks, so it’ll be nice for fans to focus on a brighter future after Matt Rhule sucked the life out of the entire organization.

Not many would complain if Steichen was Tepper’s choice. But one cannot rule out the bold acquisition of Payton, no matter how mixed the reaction will be.

If the Eagles go all the way – which is entirely possible – then Steichen getting a head coaching job somewhere is almost guaranteed. And the team’s long-suffering support won’t have to wait much longer before we find out if that’s Carolina or not.

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