5 burning questions Carolina Panthers fans are asking ahead of 2024 offseason

The drama has already begun, but the questions remain.

Brian Burns
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Carolina Panthers HC/GM candidates, Part 1

Other than Ben Johnson, who would be the most realistic head coaching candidate? - Jason F.

Great question by Jason. It’s hard to gauge at the moment where to pinpoint the team’s second-best candidate or realistic options. I don’t have any inside information; I can only speculate. 

The Carolina Panthers have made requests to a wide range of candidates. My best estimation as to who the most realistic candidate would be outside of Ben Johnson is Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, who has been key to his team’s division-winning offense and the quick emergence of C.J. Stroud.

The Shanahan-like offenses allow quarterbacks to work off wider platforms and pockets using play-action. These systems use plenty of misdirection, motion, and creativity to keep defenses off-balance. Stroud, Brock Purdy, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tua Tagovaoila, and others have had success in these offenses as one of the most quarterback-friendly systems in the league.

It is my opinion that the Panthers should consider Slowik as their fall-back option if their run at Johnson is unsuccessful. Either way, Bryce Young would be placed in systems that would allow him and the rest of the offense around him to succeed with average talent alone. 

Other than Johnson and Slowik, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith, and former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel are my current favorites for the open Carolina job.