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January 08, 2013

Would Wannstedt be a fit for Panthers?

Tuesday was a busy day at Bank of America Stadium.

While three Panthers assistant coaches packed up their offices, two GM candidates were at the stadium interviewing with owner Jerry Richardson and his top aides (team president Danny Morrison and consultant Ernie Accorsi).

Trying to make sense of why Ron Rivera fired the three assistants he did -- RBs coach John Settle, WRs coach Fred Graves and LBs coach Warren Belin -- is not as simple as looking at performance of each of their position groups.

When Rivera sweated out his job last week before Richardson decided to keep him, the writing was on the wall for someone -- or multiple someones -- on his staff. The late-season play of both the offense and defense made coordinators Rob Chudzinski and Sean McDermott safe in Rivera's eyes.

He'd already fired his special teams coordinator during the season. So where to go to give Richardson and/or the public their pound of flesh?

Ultimately, Rivera fired three assistants whom he didn't have much history with. Rivera must have had his reasons, although he did not share them in his two-sentence statement released by the team.

Moving forward, Rivera has plenty of former friends and colleagues looking for work. Among them are three head coaches he worked for: Lovie Smith, Norv Turner and Dave Wannstedt.

Smith and Rivera were never chummy, so that's not happening.

Turner is getting calls from teams looking for an offensive coordinator, so he's not going to come to Charlotte as a position coach.

Would Wannstedt?

Maybe, especially if no one is interested in hiring him as a defensive coordinator.

Wannstedt has coached nearly every position on defense, including Buffalo's linebackers in 2011. Wannstedt was the Bills' assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach that season.

The Panthers haven't had anyone with an assistant head coach title under Rivera. But Wannstedt could be a fit.

As for the GM search, Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross and Montreal Alouettes GM Jim Popp became the first known candidates to interview Tuesday.

There are four to follow: Panthers interim GM Brandon Beane, Giants senior pro personnel analyst Dave Gettleman, Titans VP of player personnel Lake Dawson and Vikings assistant GM George Paton.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 8, 2013 at 08:14 PM | Permalink


Any chance the Panthers bring back Jim Skipper- recently let go by the Titans?

Posted by: NCD11 | Jan 8, 2013 8:43:46 PM

here's a thought. demote Sean Mcdermott to LB coach and bring on Dave Wannstedt as defensive coordinator. he has a much better track record than Mcdermott in that dept. Also hire Marc Ross as your GM. The panthers obviously need someone that is a good talent evaluator which is obviously the polar opposite of what they had with Hurney as the GM.

Posted by: superbowl2012yeahright | Jan 8, 2013 9:06:02 PM

OK....demote McDermott as he raised the D from 28th last year to 10th year...with a bullet btw, so they'll likely be even better next year? Yeah...makes a ton of sense! Glad you're not the GM or the head coach!

Posted by: David Crabb | Jan 8, 2013 10:20:34 PM

Yeah right 2012......you are dumber than a sack of hammers.......make that a sack of cow dung. Wannstedt will be a great assistant head coach/linebackers coach. Sean will still be DC and he an Wannstedt will work together to make us a defensive power. Chud has the offense in the right place, Coach Rivera is about to become a top 5 head coach in the NFL. I predict Williams/Stewart will restructure their contracts to stay here and be a renewed DOUBLE TROUBLE, and both will reach 1100 plus yards each again. The Beast will be back and and our linebacker group will be the league's strongest. Get a great prospect to back up and learn from Jordan Gross, a defensive tackle to learn and back up the two Edwards, a CB/safety and sign Anderson as the #2 QB, and we'll be a formidible team. Cam could have a MPV type year. Smitty, Lafell, Olsen, Gettis, Barnidge, Adams, Murphy, Green, and the other young receivers from the pratice squad make us THE up and coming team. PS, don't forget we get back Kalil and Hangartner and our young guys at OL backups will be much more experienced. Surely we won't have half the guys end up on IR. I think this year I'll take out a full page ad in the C-OB predicting a Super Bowl Win. GO PANTHERS. I've owned PSLs since the first day you could buy them, originally 4, now 2 and 2013 is our year Mr Richardson.

Posted by: Big Bad John | Jan 8, 2013 10:50:40 PM

Crabby, pinch yourself. You are dreaming.

Posted by: KnightWhoSaysNi | Jan 8, 2013 11:20:55 PM

Whoops. Not Crabby. BBJ. My bad.

Posted by: KnightWhoSaysNi | Jan 8, 2013 11:22:15 PM

Cowher is coming back...

...told you so m

Posted by: Clinton Tyree | Jan 8, 2013 11:42:39 PM

Clinton Tyree,

Cowher may come back, but a successful comeback is highly questionable. He's been gone too long and the game has changed significantly. Few that return after being gone so long succeed.

Posted by: John | Jan 9, 2013 7:08:33 AM

Wannstedt- Not sure why he would want to come here? Just doesn't make a lot of sense, when there will be DC jobs all over the place.

Cowher - So what? He was nothing special to start with, can't see why so many of the "Panther faithful" was so in love with the guy.

Williams - I don't think he's staying. I think what ever rift there is between him, Rivera and Chud is going to have him leaving town. I think he will restructure and then either get traded for picks or released outright.

For receivers after Olson, Smith and LaFell it gets a little murky. I might clean house and see what it available in the 4-5 rounds of the draft.

Secondary needs a major upgrade. We just keep getting burned back there. No shut down corners, nothing that any QB is afraid of.
Need a big a NT, to stop the run up the middle. Need some OL depth or somebody that can push some of the guys for playing time.

Posted by: latdog43 | Jan 9, 2013 11:05:20 AM

Wannstedt? Are you kidding? The Dolphins became a laughing stock under him. And Chicago was a mess with him. He couldn't hold a college job and Buffalo's defense fell apart under him this year. I have friends who were with the Dolphins when he was there. The best thing they can say about him is that he is a nice guy. As Leo Durocher said: "Nice guys finish last." The Panthers don't need him.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 9, 2013 12:42:19 PM

I agree with the confusion over Wannstedt... don't forget that this was the bozo who, along with Jimmy Johnson, totally wasted the final years of one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game, Dan Marino.

Posted by: John | Jan 9, 2013 2:03:31 PM

For those downing Wannstedt, don't forget that there's a long line of very good coordinators who went on to be pretty bad head coaches but went back to being good coordinators. Dom Capers, Dick LeBeau, Gregg Williams (even with the cheating), Dick Jauron, Norv Turner, all of Jim Mora's boys, and so on.

Posted by: MTBinDurham | Jan 9, 2013 3:29:54 PM

I think the 1st person that should go is the strength and conditioning coach. This team came out 2 YEARS IN A ROW looking slow and physically weak. I think there is a direct link between conditioning and injuries. You start your 1st game in top shape, not develope it during the 1st 1/2 of the season.

Posted by: steve holbrook | Jan 10, 2013 11:24:23 AM

I think the 1st person that should go is the strength and conditioning coach. This team came out 2 YEARS IN A ROW looking slow and physically weak. I think there is a direct link between conditioning and injuries. You start your 1st game in top shape, not develope it during the 1st 1/2 of the season.

Posted by: steve holbrook | Jan 10, 2013 11:24:24 AM

ok crabbie you do have a point, but why couldn't this defense play all year like it did most of the last half of the year, and with more of it's key players on IR? You do remember the thursday night giants game debacle right?If they start next year like they finished this year then i will say you were right. they made the right move by keeping Mcdermott. If they do like they have done in recent years and throw away half the season only to start playing at full potential the last half of the season then i guess we will ALL know they screwed up yet again huh? you see win or lose you ALWAYS give maximum effort, and as this defense showed in the last part of the season they were not giving it their maximum effort all year.As for Big Bad John...dude i don't know what to tell you. i feel for you man. You are obviously living in your own little world.If you believe everything in your post more power to you i guess. outside of your comments on Wannstedt/Mcdermott i think you are dreaming.

Posted by: superbowl2012yeahright | Jan 11, 2013 10:03:27 PM

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