Whether it's the Offensive coordinator, Defensive coordinator, or head coach. The Carolina Panthers are booking more interviews than the Dallas Cowboys' playoff wins in the past decade. Steve Wilks seems doubtful to return as head coach this upcoming season. What would be the ideal coaching staff for the Carolina Panthers?
What would be the ideal coaching staff for Carolina?
A growing number of Carolina fans' have former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton as the next Panthers head coach. If Payton does get hired, former Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio is linked to being the defensive coordinator for Payton. Carolina submitted a request to New Orleans to interview Sean Payton. Carolina's request was granted by the Saints front office.
The offensive coordinator position for Carolina is still open. Yet, Carolina hasn't officially fired their current offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. Nevertheless, Carolina seems to be moving closer to a clean slate coaching staff due to all the interviews Carolina is booking. The most popular choice for the offensive coordinator job is Ben Johnson, the current OC of the Detroit Lions.
Why would this coaching staff make sense for the Panthers?
Sean Payton is a head coach that the Players and fans can rally around and he did lead the 2010 New Orleans Saints to the Super Bowl. Hopefully, he can at least lead the Panthers to a deep playoff run. In the 2021 NFL season, Vic Fangio was the head coach of the Denver Broncos, the Broncos possessed the third-ranked defense overall. Imagine Fangio working with studs Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn, and Frankie Luvu.
Ben Johnson is a top coaching candidate due to his masterminding of a great Detroit Lions offense. If Carolina did hire Johnson as offensive coordinator, he would have guys like D.J Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr, and a quarterback to develop his way. Whether it’s one of the 2023 rookie quarterbacks, Matt Corral, whom the team drafted last year, or a veteran option.
How realistic is a Payton, Johnson, and Fangio staff?
There are a few things that could prevent this coaching staff from happening. The first problem is Carolina had to submit a request to interview Sean Payton. After Payton's interview with a team, they can’t outright sign him. The Panthers would have to give up draft capital and or players. It’s unlikely the Saints would send Payton to a division rival. If somehow New Orleans goes trade him, they would probably try to rob Carolina of their picks and players.
Secondly, other teams could hire all three of them. Other teams like the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, and Arizona Cardinals have at least looked at hiring Ben Johnson, Sean Payton, or Vic Fangio.
The third hiccup would be Carolina going with a different head coaching candidate. Dave Tepper could decide that retaining Steve Wilks, the current interim head coach is the best move for the team. The Panthers’ requested candidates are mostly coordinators from teams around the league, so they could hire any of those other candidates. Regardless, Carolina could still end up hiring Payton. In a scenario where Carolina does hire Sean Payton. He would likely bring Vic Fangio as his DC and Ben Johnson as his OC.