6 dark horse candidates to become Carolina Panthers head coach in 2024

Don't dismiss these names as potential replacements for head coach Frank Reich.

Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers could hire Greg Olsen

This came like a bolt from the sky on Monday afternoon. The Athletic reported that former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen would be interested in filling the head coaching vacancy if approached, which raised eyebrows around the league and led many to speculate whether or not it's something David Tepper would contemplate.

To be clear, Olsen is a great guy. He was a phenomenal player for the Panthers, remains a strong presence within the community, and is thriving as FOX Sports' lead analyst with insightful analysis that doesn't make things too complex for the casual viewer.

But he is not a head coach.

Olsen doesn't need the stress. He doesn't need to risk his reputation and standing within the Panthers community. More importantly, he doesn't need a meddling owner like Tepper breathing down his neck at every turn.

Could Olsen be a coach or front-office figure down the line? Sure. But stepping out of the booth and into the hot seat wouldn't be well received and history states it might not go well.

Remember the uproar when the Houston Texans were considering Josh McCown as their head coach? Remember how Jeff Saturday fared when he replaced Frank Reich as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2022?

These are just two prime examples. While it's a nice story that could restore some much-needed culture, it's too much of a risk for a beleaguered owner who must get his next hire correct.