The Panthers have fired Frank Reich after a 1-10 start to the 2023-2024 season. After four full years as Indianapolis’ head coach, he has now been fired midseason in two consecutive years. Here are five potential candidates to replace Frank Reich as the Panthers’ head coach.
It seems like what the Panthers need more than anything right now is some consistency. So, if former Special Teams Coordinator and current interim head coach Chris Tabor gives them that, they may be wise to stick with him.
Clearly, a special teams guy is not the most obvious choice to usher in a new era of Panthers football with a young and highly-drafted quarterback. But, if Bryce Young shows some flourish and starts playing better, then Tabor could very well earn this job. He may not have it for long if the franchise doesn’t end the next season as a borderline playoff group, but anything is possible.
If it’s been said once, it’s been said one million times; Lists like these are not complete without an obligatory Eric Bieniemy mention.
First things first, it’s becoming more and more clear that Ron Rivera will lose his job as the Commanders’ head coach at the end of the season, or before. In that case, Bieniemy is the most natural next step. The offense is his, he knows the players, and he’s been looking for an opportunity.
But, if the Panthers swoop in and make Bieniemy a better offer, then he’d be wise to take it. He’s shown that he can make a borderline quarterback like Sam Howell look impressive. So, it stands to reason that he should make Young look like the number one overall pick he was touted as. Maybe this team doesn’t have enough weapons for Bieniemy, but it’s worth a shot if no one else is going to give him one.
Harbaugh is a culture builder before anything else. Carolina needs a new culture behind a quarterback in whose basket they put all of their eggs.
The Michigan job is getting more and more volatile as he’s under constant microscopes and a roller coaster of praise and vitriol. Harbaugh may want to leave that situation because he’s shown he can build programs at both the college and professional level.
A whole lot of the draft-and-develop type work will fall on Harbaugh, but if he can recruit as well as he has at Michigan, then he obviously has an eye for talent. This would also be the most patient hire on the list, because of his credentials. Owner David Tepper isn’t known for his patience, but this particular hire could stretch those muscles.
Like Bieniemy, Moore is most likely next in line to a coach that will likely be canned either midseason or directly after the Week 18. He’s never been a head coach or an interim head coach, so the ceiling is unknown, but the potential is beyond intriguing.
Justin Herbert is still playing at a high level under Moore, his new offensive coordinator, and their record is not a reflection on either of them. The Chargers have had a rough go of it this year, and the roster is likely set, so the next logical move is to clean out the coaching room. If he’s a casualty of that, then the Panthers need to give him a look.
Johnson is destined for a head coaching job next season. He’s made Jared Goff look like the quarterback he was always supposed to be, despite some recent turnover struggles, which are flatly not Johnson’s fault at all.
If he feels like there’s a ceiling to Goff and the Lions, then he needs to jump ship. There may be nowhere more similar that Carolina, who also have a first overall selection at quarterback that is not playing up to his potential.
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