You might argue with me on this but I think former Panther Defensive Coordinator Mike Trgovac's recent interview on Packers.com (and discussed by Steve Reed) sheds a little light on his decision to leave the Panthers, maybe. Okay, not really.
"My goal is to someday be a coordinator again," Trgovac said. "I don't want to want to do that right now. One of the things that my wife said to me, if you work for a defensive head coach it is a little bit harder than when you work for an offensive head coach. She said, 'You haven't seemed happy the last year.'
"When she said that to me, it just made me realize that my kids are growing up and maybe I was taking my work home with me. That's why I wanted to just take a step back and coach a position again. That's one of the things you miss as a coordinator, just the day-to-day interaction that you have with one specific position group. I wanted to get back into that again."
It's the old "I want to spend more time with my kids" excuse. Seriously, how unhappy can you be with a 12-4 season? Sure the defense struggled down the stretch but you're going to tell me there is that much less pressure as a DL coach versus a DC? Okay, I'm sure there is more pressure but I think Trgovac is still being kind to John Fox in his reasoning. I would think trying to switch a defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 would bring some significant pressure to him too. Yet, he doesn't make it sound very hard:
You look at which guy you want on the left side, which guy you want on the right side, who you want in the middle," Trgovac said. "You play maybe a bigger guy on the left side than you do on the right side. There are guys that feel much more comfortable just rushing from the left side.
"I've had defensive ends that don't care which side they line up on. You've kind of got to talk to the players, look at the tape, and see if there is a problem with that."
It's obvious Trgovac is not going to throw Fox under the bus on this but I think its becoming more clear his meddling in the defense was the reason for Trgovac leaving.
On another note, do you think he was referring to Peppers as one of the DE's who don't care which side he plays on? Hardly I bet but if Peppers did care I wonder if the Panthers really know what his preference is? His motives seem such a mystery.
One final quote from Trgovac regarding one of his underlying philosophies:
"(Former NFL head coach) Marty Schottenheimer, one of the greatest quotes he had was if you have two evenly matched players, which you do a lot in this league...the player with the better fundamentals is going to win. That's one of the things, when I left college I said I'm never going to lose as a pro coach is the teaching aspect of the fundamentals."
Was the Panther defense fundamentally sound down the stretch last season? If you don't think so please cite examples to support your case.