DeMeco Ryans proves the Carolina Panthers don't need an offensive head coach

The Carolina Panthers cannot focus on one trait.

DeMeco Ryans
DeMeco Ryans / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The immediate success of Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans proves the Carolina Panthers don't necessarily need an offensive mind.

Much has been said about the coaching search for the Carolina Panthers and what exactly the team should go for in its next leader. Especially considering the fanbase is teetering on a razor's edge. So far, the conversation has almost exclusively been on fixing the offense as the unit ranked dead last in every important statistical category aside from rushing yards.

They also were not last in passing touchdowns. The Panthers had two more than the New York Jets, but that isn't something to be proud of.

Carolina Panthers must find the right head coach, regardless of background

Clearly, the Panthers need offensive help, I am not denying that fact. If nothing else, to find out if quarterback Bryce Young can turn things around and be the guy after Carolina made a substantial investment in the promising signal-caller.

However, there is a common misconception in the NFL that to fix a problem, you must hire a head coach specializing in that area. A good staff can make all the difference. A bad staff can, as well. Just look at what happened with Matt Rhule and Joe Brady.

The best and most recent proof of this can be found in the resurgence of the Houston Texans. Following the hiring of a defensive-minded head coach, that team surged into the playoffs on the back of one of the best rookie quarterback performances in NFL history.

So how was this possible? Shouldn't a defensive head coach be incapable of leading a high-powered offense?

Carolina Panthers
DeMeco Ryans / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It all lies in the hiring of the staff around DeMeco Ryans.

Ryans has always been a defensive mind, both during his playing career and as a highly progressive coach. He went to his fellow San Francisco 49ers colleague Bobby Slowik to ask for help on his new journey. Therein lies the key.

Slowik even started on the defensive side of the ball under Mike Shanahan and only has a few years of experience with the offense. Yet, he's already being considered one of the most prized offensive head coaching candidates this offseason.

A good staff can make all the difference.

While the Panthers need assistance on offense, there is much to be said about simply going after the best candidate available. Both from a scheme and cultural fit. It cannot go any worse than things have already during David Tepper's tenure as owner. Remember that Frank Reich was brought in to be a quarterback whisperer after all.

Carolina Panthers should strongly consider Dan Quinn

Names like Jim Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, and Ben Johnson have all been floated around as dream hires for the floundering Panthers. They very much would be. But with the slew of vacancies with teams in a much more attractive position, top-flight candidates are not likely to choose this team. Especially with how polarizing ownership has been.

Teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, and Tennesse Titans all have the pedigree or foundation to attract the best. However, there will be people available. The top candidate in this second tier would be a familiar name - Dan Quinn.

Carolina Panthers
Dan Quinn / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not Quinn would be willing to come back to the NFC South on a rebuild is another story. Whichever way it goes, the Panthers need credibility in a bad way.

Quinn has also proven credentials to lead a high-powered offense and build a championship-caliber coaching staff. Someone like Tee Martin - for instance - would be an excellent choice for offensive coordinator given how explosive the Baltimore Ravens have been this season.

The Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator isn't the prototypical head coaching hire in today's NFL. That could be exactly what this team needs. Although one could make a strong case for Mike MacDonald being a better option, too.

Ron Rivera wasn't an offensive mind either and the Panthers went to as Super Bowl with him. Build the correct staff around him and the former Atlanta Falcons head coach might just work.

The Panthers need credibility, a winning pedigree, and a coach who will stand up to ownership in pursuit of keeping the culture how he wants it. Someone of the caliber of Quinn fits this mold perfectly.

Carolina's future aspirations lie in who is chosen to lead this team into the future. They have to get it right this time.