Carolina Panthers could look to the Lions
Head Coach: Ben Johnson
General Manager: Ray Agnew
Ben Johnson is the hottest name on the head coaching cycle in 2024. He'd likely have gotten a top job last time around had he been willing. Instead, the respected offensive coordinator opted to remain with the Detroit Lions and strive for further growth personally and professionally under Dan Campbell.
Johnson has done nothing to harm his credentials this season. His route concepts are extraordinary. There is always a hint of creativity. His offense boasts the perfect balance between run and pass. He is maximizing every weapon at his disposal with supreme efficiency.
This is something unlikely to be going unnoticed by teams looking for a new head coach. The Carolina Panthers made a play for Johnson earlier this year before he turned down the interview. David Tepper has reportedly already begun making moves that might suggest another bold bid is in the immediate offing.
If the Panthers want Johnson to hit the ground running, then hiring Ray Agnew would be a good place to start. Detroit's assistant general manager is gaining a strong reputation behind the scenes. He's been instrumental in the process of turning the roster from also-rans into potential challengers. This was done by shrewd free-agent signings and some outstanding draft classes.
Getting Johnson and Agnew would be a home-run hit from the Panthers. However, this needs to come with guarantees from Tepper that he'd stay out of the way unless it was necessary.