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January 18, 2007

Henning's replacement could be in place next week

Random observations, news and notes after a long drive back from Florida:

A decision on the new offensive coordinator isn’t likely to come until early next week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. The Panthers are looking at some outside candidates, but it would be a mild surprise if quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy isn’t promoted. McCoy is the golden boy on this staff, and several teams tried to talk to him about offensive coordinator jobs in recent weeks.

In each case, the Panthers denied permission and other teams were scared off before asking because they knew what response they would get. McCoy’s agent, Bob LaMonte, also is the agent for coach John Fox.

The Panthers’ failure to reach the playoffs cost defensive end Julius Peppers $500,000. Peppers had an incentive for that much in his contract if the Panthers made the postseason. But Peppers still earned $3.5. million in incentives for making the Pro Bowl and reaching some statistical markers.

File this one away for future reference, because nothing can happen right away. But I keep hearing the Panthers really like Baltimore quarterback Kyle Boller. It makes sense, because Boller is a young guy with some experience and some upside.

He did a good job stepping in when Steve McNair was injured last season and the Panthers would like to have someone like that in place if Jake Delhomme gets injured. Boller also has enough skills to challenge for a starting job if Delhomme struggles like he did much of last season.

The hang-up here is Boller is not scheduled to be a free agent until 2008. He remains under contract (with a very friendly salary-cap number) to the Ravens. Let me emphasize there are no trade talks going on and trades are rare in the NFL. But keep this one in the back of your mind for the spring.

One veteran NFL insider expressed shock that the Panthers fired offensive line coach Mike Maser and defensive backs coach Rod Perry. His rationale was that they both had to make do with a lot of injuries. The insider was more surprised defensive line coach Sal Sunseri, who didn’t have to deal with injuries and got less-than-stellar play from everyone except Peppers, kept his job. Maser is expected to interview for the offensive line coach job with the Arizona Cardinals in the next few days.

For the record, the Panthers now are $3.1 million over the 2007 salary cap ($1.9. million). Only the Washington Redskins ($7.1. million) are in worse shape. The Panthers have to be under the cap for the start of free agency in March.

If Bill Parcells ends up staying in Dallas, look for Dan Henning to join his staff in some capacity. The two are very close, and there are indications Henning doesn’t feel he’s ready for retirement.

Posted by Observer Sports on January 18, 2007 at 11:03 PM | Permalink


I agree about the defensive line coach should have been fired because of all the talent they have and I feel Henning, Maser, and Perry should have gotten at least one more year.

Posted by: C-mac | Jan 19, 2007 12:27:30 PM

Special Teams and Strength and Conditioning coaches should have been axed, as well. Our special teams the past two seasons have been horrible, and our injuries and blown fourth quarter leads are a direct result of poor conditioning and a sub-par training camp.

Posted by: Dan | Jan 20, 2007 12:29:55 PM

ol coach russ grimm

Posted by: martha | Jan 20, 2007 9:56:20 PM

God help us if Kyle Boller is a desired Qb.

Posted by: Matt | Jan 22, 2007 3:02:39 PM

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