4 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 17 at Jaguars

Fans have questions with just two weeks of the regular season remaining.

Mike Macdonald
Mike Macdonald / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers hiring a defensive-minded head coach

Should we go back to the winning tradition of hiring defensive-focused head coaches (i.e. John Fox and Ron Rivera)? – Tre H.

Great question, Tre. When it comes to debating or discussing what type of head coach the Carolina Panthers should pursue, defensive-minded or focused head coaching candidates should be involved.

In all likelihood, Carolina will hire a younger offensive-minded coach. That’s the trend around the league in hopes of finding that next innovative mind who can not only change the culture of the team but also help the league evolve overall. However, it would be a poor process to completely ignore defensive-minded coaches during the interview cycle.

Three defensive coordinators in the NFL come to mind as potential head-coaching candidates. The first is Mike Macdonald of the Baltimore Ravens.

If you watched Monday Night Football, you saw what a young defensive-focused coach can do for an organization. Macdonald’s defense is one of the most versatile and disciplined groups in football. It would certainly be welcomed in Carolina.

The next is Steve Wilks. Yes, it is very unlikely at this point that he will choose to return to his hometown and finally become the head coach in Carolina considering the previous hiring cycle. Never say never, and we got to see a taste of his culture and productivity in 2022.

Finally, Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero is someone that players have raved about all season. He has gotten the best out of a defense that has certain personnel out of position or is simply not a fit in his 3-4 multiple set. Once again, it feels unlikely that he will become the head coach, but he could return if he's unable to get a top job elsewhere.

I have no problem with hiring a young defensive coordinator like Macdonald. The most crucial aspect of hiring that type of coach is bringing along a respected and creative offensive coordinator. That’s what made the Houston Texans’ hiring of DeMeco Ryans so successful because of the tandem with Bobby Slowik.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Macdonald bring Todd Monken along to be Carolina’s new offensive coordinator in this scenario.