3 OC candidates the Carolina Panthers could target under Frank Reich

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Frank Reich
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Frank Reich /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Pep Hamilton /

Carolina Panthers could target Pep Hamilton

This is my personal favorite candidate.

Pep Hamilton has local ties, hailing from Charlotte and graduating from West Charlotte High School. To pair him with Frank Reich, the first quarterback in Carolina Panthers franchise history would boost the familial affinity that fans hold so dear.

Currently serving as the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans, Hamilton has a long NFL coaching career at the relatively young age of 48 years old, specializing as a quarterbacks coach, receivers coach, or passing game coordinator.

Hamilton also has coaching experience in college football, as well as a very brief run as head coach and general manager in the XFL for the DC Defenders in 2020. He most notably brought along a promising young player by the name of Andrew Luck at Stanford en route to the signal-caller becoming a consensus No. 1 overall selection.

Luck is a generational talent and was seen as such from the start. But Hamilton certainly played a key role in helping the prospect reach his potential.

Hamilton has been given the moniker of “quarterback whisperer” amongst NFL insiders and personnel. This is based mainly on his integral role in the development of Luck and Justin Herbert, so his presence in meetings and offensive game planning would be a tremendous tool for the Panthers to have.

The Panthers requested to interview Hamilton for the vacant offensive coordinator position coming into the 2022 season, but he didn’t pursue that opportunity. He also has a son who is playing football currently at a Houston high school, which may be a reason that he just declined to interview for the open Tampa Bay Buccaneers role vacated by Byron Leftwich.

That being said, one can’t help but think that accepting a phone call from Reich is very different. This version of the Panthers would present an opportunity to come home, have influential say in who your quarterback is, and potentially catapult Hamilton to the forefront of the next head coaching conversations.