4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 16 vs. Packers

Fans have questions about what comes next for the Carolina Panthers.

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Ranking Carolina Panthers head coaching candidates, plus Scott Fitterer's future

How would you rank the HC Candidates and the likelihood of landing each one? Also, how do you view the GM situation with Fitterer? - @holdmytake

It is hard to gauge the likelihood of landing a potential head coach this early, especially when interviews are nowhere close to starting. However, I am more than happy to rank my top five head coaching candidates for the Carolina Panthers.

The first name at the top of my list is Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. He is going to be the hottest candidate out there and rightfully so. His offenses have been some of the most productive in football in the last couple of seasons, including this year.

Johnson was set to fly into Charlotte for a head coaching interview last offseason before wanting to complete unfinished business in Detroit. A return to the Carolinas would be great to see for not just the former quarterback but the organization itself.

The next couple of names I will list in order are Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith and Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.

Smith is one of the key factors to Miami's success this offseason. Evero has his defense playing at a very high level in recent weeks. Both coaches would be great choices.

The final two names I have down are Washington Commanders assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.

Bieniemy is due for a head coaching job. He is the type of coach who can establish a great culture while not being a "yes" man to David Tepper.

Macdonald is on the younger side but has the Ravens playing great defensive football. The next head coach doesn't need to be offensive-minded, as the Houston Texans have demonstrated with DeMeco Ryans.

As for Scott Fitterer, his situation in Carolina seems bleak.

With more bad results than good from a free agent acquisition and talent evaluation perspective, it feels inevitable that Fitterer will be gone within the next few weeks. A new regime requires both a new head coach and a general manager. It's time for Tepper to fully reset in both areas.