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January 23, 2009

Trgovac says he simply wanted a "fresh start"

Mike Trgovac said this afternoon that he loved working for John Fox and the Carolina Panthers, but that the time had come for a change.

"There was no one determining factor," he told The Observer of his decision to turn down the team's offer to remain as defensive corodinator. "I had been there seven years. In coaching, that's a lifetime. I just thought it was best that I did it at this time. I just wanted a fresh start. When I put all my thoughts together and all the situation together, it came down to that."

Trgovac addressed media reports that four Panthers defensive assistants, including himself, were upset with the team for offering contract extensions late.

"What this whole thing looks like is not really what it is with everybody on the defensive side of the ball going to other places," said Trgovac. "I don't speak for other people, but I know in my case ... this had nothing to do with contracts or anything else.

"I felt it was best for John and best for me."

Asked why he thought his leaving was best for Fox, Trgovac said: "I just felt it was best for him to get a fresh start as well."

Trgovac, who served as defensive coordinator the past six seasons, said he enjoyed his stay with the Panthers. His defenses ranked in the NFL's top 10 three times and the Panthers made three playoff appearances during his tenure.

"I was very fortunate to come to this organization," he said. "Mr. (Jerry) Richardson has built a fabulous place here. I wanted to depart this place as friends with everybody, and I think I've done that.

"I truly had seven good years with John (Fox) and I appreciate everything he and (general manager) Marty Hurney did for me."

Trgovac said his friendship with Fox remains strong. "I think he has a fondness for me, and I have a fondness for him."

Trgovac had planned to accept the Panthers' offer of a contract extension, but informed Fox Wednesday night in Mobile, Ala., where they were scouting prospects at the Senior Bowl, that he had changed his mind.

Trgovac said his unpopularity with some fans was not a factor in his decision.

"The fans are very important to any pro football team," said Trgovac. "It had nothing to do with the pressure from the fans.

"When you take a job as a defensive coordinator in a high profile job, you're always going to have your critics. ... That had absoultely nothing to do with it. ... That's why this game is so great -- the fans' love for it (and) the way the fans dive into it."

Trgovac confirmed that he has accepted a job with Green Bay to coach the Packers' defensive line. He'll work with former Panthers head coach Dom Capers, Green Bay's new defensive coordinator.

"I know Dom well, and I look forward to it," said Trgovac.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on January 23, 2009 at 05:02 PM | Permalink


Could Herman Edwards be headed to Charlotte now that he has been released by Kansas City? Hmmmmm.

Posted by: Sheldon | Jan 23, 2009 5:27:41 PM

He's right - it was time to move on. Now let's not let this opportunity go to waste and makesure we make the right off-season moves to create a top-notch defense that knows how to finish games!

Posted by: Dan | Jan 23, 2009 5:31:12 PM

Herm Edwards will be the D-Coordinator, just a matter of time.

Posted by: mike | Jan 23, 2009 5:31:32 PM

better off to seek new employment coming of 12-4 over waiting a year and getting fired after they have a losing season. can't blame him

Posted by: jp | Jan 23, 2009 5:43:11 PM

Excuse me but hiring Herm Edwards would be a total disaster. Man, you talk about saying to he11 with the fans and keeping the millions and power within the family clique. Christ almighty, if Fox brings in Herm Edwards I'm out of here, for there is no hope whatsoever. Herm Edwards? "*(&^%$^&**(%^$"

Posted by: charlesbright | Jan 23, 2009 5:51:02 PM

Herm Edwards and John Fox have one of the strongest relationships between coaches. They both played college ball together, Herm Edwards is a good coach, but he didn't have the personnel and the talent in his players to win games. I wouldn't be surprised if this happened.

Posted by: Cameron | Jan 23, 2009 6:04:08 PM

if we hire Herm there is no reason to assume he will not do a good job charles. if you think just because he had a rough few years in kansas city means he forgot how to coach all together means that you have lost your mind. how can we lose all hope if he brings in a former coach who understands the scrutiny of a high profile position but also understands that having quality players means even more. you cant say someone will cause us to lose all hope if he has never been here and interacted with our players. get a life charles. why dont you go whine about something else like how you arent as bright as you thought you were.

Posted by: charlesnotsobright | Jan 23, 2009 6:11:49 PM

U PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! i would bet herm will end up here. maybe a position coach cuz hes never been a dc. and hes been fired twice in like 4 years. but i like herm and i think the d would take good to herm. i doubt it would be a total disaster charlesNOTSObright.

Posted by: JAMES | Jan 23, 2009 6:17:01 PM

Herm Edwards??? Puhlease. This is the guy we need:


Posted by: G$ | Jan 23, 2009 6:30:31 PM

Nice call G$...I'm all for going young anyway. That's one of Fox's downfalls...his age and unwillingness to be forward thinking. I also like the idea of Sam Mills III becoming our LB coach.

Posted by: RK | Jan 23, 2009 6:41:12 PM

anybody who's a student of the game knows that you can't win in the playoffs with average talent OR an average coach...Herm Edwards is a winner...I believe he can elevate our D talent and with a few draft picks and maybe a Free Agent... man up cover type DB...we can get to the next level...Football is a game of emotion and momentum...I think Herm has what it takes to get our D fired up and to the next level to go deeper in the playoffs.

Posted by: Jon in DC | Jan 23, 2009 7:04:02 PM

Good find G$, but does it say anything about when his contract is up? because I wouldn't mind him coaching our defense at all!

Posted by: Cameron | Jan 23, 2009 7:06:42 PM

Nice G$ im on board. If not a DC somewhere in the def. Wow think of what he can do with our LB group. If he is a LB Coor lets go to a 3-4.

Posted by: Eric K Hasara | Jan 23, 2009 8:40:20 PM

G$ that is really a diamond in the rough right there. Look what he did with Dawkins and Godfrey reminds me of a young Minter/Dawkins. and I think under Sean he can really fine tune his skills and become a excellent safety. and then beason, Dan Connor(coming back from injury) Thomas Davis, would be very beneficial from having him as DC.. Man lets start the petition to get this guy.

Posted by: Panther4life | Jan 24, 2009 4:22:17 AM

Peppers (and the rest of the defense) has an issue with Jake giving games away. So do 77 percent of the fans!! They are keeping Jake and losing the key component to so many victories by this franchise. Why did the Charlotte Observer take down that "what to do with Jake" poll. Did the results reflect too much of the truth??? What a communist/hick propaganda pamphlet this paper turned out to be!

Posted by: Keeping It Real | Jan 25, 2009 12:34:37 AM

jake is a off coordinators nightmare. i blame fox because if you have a streaky player like jake you have to pull him when hes stinking up the joint.fox wont do that.

Posted by: ray | Jan 27, 2009 12:25:58 PM

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