Dan Orlovsky’s temptation to join the Carolina Panthers coaching staff is a strong reflection of the team’s ambition under head coach Frank Reich.
It’s been a memorable offseason for the Carolina Panthers to date. Frank Reich‘s intent to mold the best coaching staff possible behind David Tepper’s wallet has seen an all-star cast come into the organization, which is a real statement of intent and one that can hopefully bring the best out of their players throughout the upcoming preparation period.
Much will depend on how the Panthers approach recruitment via free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft. General manager Scott Fitterer is under enormous pressure to step out of Matt Rhule’s dark cloud with more influence, but there is no margin for error with little in the way of financial resources to call upon currently.
Even though the staffing hires couldn’t have gone much better, there was one potential target that got away. According to reports, Dan Orlovsky was someone they felt could assist in developing a young quarterback, but the respected analyst resisted overtures and decided to remain at ESPN despite positive discussions.
Dan Orlovsky was close to joining the Carolina Panthers
The Panthers eventually went with Josh McCown as their quarterbacks’ coach, which would have been the likely role for Orlovsky looking at the grand scheme of things. And during a recent appearance on the Pat McAfee Show transcribed by Anthony Rizzutii of The Panthers Wire, the Connecticut product revealed he was close to joining Reich’s ambitious
"“I had some good conversations with Indy. I came really close to another team. Just from relationships and, I think, where they sit as a football team and the city that they’re in and what I think they’re gonna do at quarterback and all that. It was out there, Carolina I came really close with.”"
Orlovsky mentioned his connection to Reich and the current project in Carolina as two elements that were tempting. What they plan to do at quarterback this offseason was another factor to this equation that made the Panthers hard to turn down.
Even though Orlovsky didn’t pull the trigger, the fact he agonized over this decision is further proof of Carolina’s ambition and the hope for genuine progress under Reich. Something that Rhule was simply unable to accomplish during a disastrous three years at the helm.
Reich worked tirelessly to convince respected targets that this was the place for them. Carolina’s staff is now littered with former or prospective NFL head coaches, which makes this an attractive destination for free agents and the perfect place for any rookie quarterback to develop.
Orlovsky would have been the icing on the cake and will be a good coach one day. Leaving ESPN is a life-changing call to make, so for the Panthers to get close is a testament to how well Reich is selling the challenge at hand.
If the Panthers get the right guy under center and strengthen specific areas such as cornerback, linebacker, and tight end, then a divisional title won’t be far behind. And based on Orlovsky’s glowing comments towards the franchise, it’s well within their capabilities.