The Panthers’ new coach, Frank Reich, is scheduled to arrive at Bank of America Stadium on Monday. Business’s first order: signing his four-year contract to formalize his coaching full-time as the sixth player in team history.

The 61-year-old Reich is returning to the Panthers for the first time since his first season in 1995, when he started as quarterback in the expansion franchise’s first three games before making way for Kelly Collins. He also returned to lead an NFL team less than three months after being fired at Indianapolis after a 3-5-1 start in his fifth season with the Colts.

Reich went 40-33-1 with Indy, making two playoff appearances in four seasons. He takes over a team that has not been in the postseason since 2017, a year before David Tepper bought the franchise from Jerry Richardson.



People: It’s OK to Think the Panthers Hired Frank Reich and Shorted Steve Wilkes

What we’re hearing about Reich’s plans to build the staff, and other Panthers-related topics:

Is Kellen Moore an option for the Panthers?

Days after emerging as a finalist for the Panthers’ head coaching job, Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore will reportedly travel to Dallas, where Mike McCarthy will call the play.

Moore, 34, was the last candidate to come to Charlotte for the first interview last week. He impressed Tepper and general manager Scott Fitter so much that he was asked to stay for another day’s interview and was considered Reich’s runner-up.

But just because the Fitterer likes Moore doesn’t mean he’s right for Reich. Additionally, there could be an active market for Moore, who ranked #1 in offensive yards for the Cowboys in two of his four seasons as a playcaller (2019, 2021).Moore is already Set to talk to the Chargers about their offensive coordinator position The NFL Network is expected to draw interest from Tampa Bay.

A staff change was expected after the Cowboys lost in the divisional round in San Francisco last week. It seems that.

Panthers move to Plan B with defensive coordinator

Another factor in Moore’s argument is the fact that Reich calls out the Colts’ aggressive play and spends a lot of time on that side of the ball. Most league officials believe Reich will continue to call plays, but sources familiar with the situation said he could delegate the call of plays depending on the experience level of his offensive coordinator. Told.

Still, Reich is heavily involved in attack, so his choice as defensive coordinator is important.

Former Broncos coach Vic Fangio was Tepper’s first choice after impressing the owner during an interview. to be the highest paying coordinator of According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Fangio left the door cracked Sunday when he told Denver’s 9NEWS’ Mike Chris that nothing had been finalized with the Dolphins “At the moment.” athletic The Panthers reported on Friday that they are unlikely to hire Fangio. My understanding is that they’ve moved on to other candidates, namely the other two that Reich interviewed before he was hired: Jets safety coach Marc Manuel or Saints co-defensive coordinator Chris Richards. am.

Richard and Manuel are not directly related to Reich, but both were coaches in Seattle when fitter and assistant GM Dan Morgan was in the Seahawks’ front office. With Manuel leading a top-10 defense in Atlanta in 2017, Richard oversaw a pair of top-5 units in Seattle’s first two seasons as DC.

Of the two, Manuel seems to have been the most talked about among Panthers decision makers.

Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is also mentioned as a possibility, after his experiences with Reich in Indianapolis and Fitter and Morgan in Seattle. However, the Panthers have yet to submit a request for an interview with Bradley, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The Colts are in the midst of their own coach search and may want to keep Bradley depending on who they hire as head coach.

Reich will have to wait if targeting Eagles assistant

Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator during the 2017 Super Bowl season. Philadelphia is back in the Super Bowl following his 31-7 victory over San Francisco on Sunday.

Eagles coach Nick Siriani and several of his assistant coaches offensively and defensively worked under Reich in Indianapolis. Reich may be interested in speaking with some of his Philadelphia assistants.

Eagles quarterback coach Brian Johnson is one of the hottest offensive coordinator names in this hiring cycle. Also keep an eye out for Eagles passing game coordinator Kevin Paturo, who spent three seasons with Reich as the Colts’ receiver coach (2018-19) and passing game specialist (2020). Paturo, 41, has already been interviewed for the Jets’ offensive coordinator vacancy.

The coach of the Super Bowl team is available for interviews this week, but apparently won’t be available until after the Feb. 12 game in Glendale, Arizona.

Panthers Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor (Bob Donnan / USA Today)

Reich meets with Panthers’ current staff

Reich is scheduled to meet Monday with some of the Panthers’ assistant coaches, who started the 2022 season under Matt Rule and finished the season under interim coach Steve Wilkes. A source said last week that Wilkes, who went 6-6 as interim coach, was interviewed for the head coaching position, so the Panthers may not be expected to speak. said it would be “strange” to offer Wilkes another position on the Reich staff.

Tepper and Fitter recommended that head coach candidates retain offensive line coach James Campen and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, according to league sources familiar with the discussion.

In an interview for the Panthers website, Reich said: Coach Tabor did a great job. ”

Reich said Tepper had previously pointed out that there is no cap on coach salaries, but indicated that he was willing to pay to hire good assistants. What troubled Rhule was his decision to fill his original Panthers staff with college coaches who had worked with him at Temple and Baylor.

“We’re all about giving the team one of the best staffers in the NFL. Tepper said, ‘Okay, Frank, let’s bring in the best,'” Reich said of the Panthers. told .com. “It’s going to be a methodical process. It’s not just him one (call, say) let’s go. This isn’t just about calling a buddy and going to work.”

“It’s a great process to go through. But what I’ve learned over the years in coaching is to take your time and don’t rush,” he added. You have to make sure you not only have the right people, but you have the right chemistry within the group.

Wilkes has been contacted by other teams

Although he remains under contract with the Panthers, Wilkes has been in contact with other teams about potential opportunities, according to league sources familiar with the situation. , two of which (Miami and Atlanta) are already filled.

Expect Wilkes to be cautious with his next move. When he was fired as Arizona’s coach after one season, Wilkes quickly accepted an offer from the Browns to become defensive coordinator in 2019. It turned out to be another short stint for Wilkes when Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens was fired after his first season.

Wilkes missed the 2020 season while living in Cleveland before returning to coaching as Missouri’s defensive coordinator in 2021.

The day after finding out he was put off for a full-time job with the Panthers, Wilkes Three-paragraph statement on Twitter In it, he thanked the players, coaches and staff and wished Reich the best of luck.

“A lot of people aren’t built for this, but I know what it means to persevere and see through it,” Wilkes said.

(Kellen Moore top photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)


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