Per Darin Gantt in his article this morning for the Rock Hill Herald new head coach Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney met with the former Panthers WR to discuss the vacancy at WR coach.
This would represent the ongoing philosophical shift inside the organization to continue to trend of hiring former players to fill vital positions. The hiring of Proehl has the added benefit of being a positive PR move, as well as being a very smart hire from where I sit. During training camp last year Steve Smith criticized the young receivers, and by extension Tyke Tolbert for not developing faster and essentially treading water during camp. This represents a player feeling that someone who has never played is not developing the young players as he should. Being a 2 x Superbowl winning WR carries a certain clout that would immediately command respect.
Don't mistake this as a former player with no ability, in fact Proehl has been working with WRs for several years now and we'll discuss that more...
After the jump
I have had the opportunity to meet Proehl on many occasions. Living in Greensboro as I do you tend to bump into the guy a lot (either that or he just sticks out). Most illuminating was a conversation I had with him in 2007. Just a year out of playing Proehl was working on building 'Proehlific Park' his fitness complex here in town and he told me he was working with several NFL prospects (presumably Wake Forest players) who were hoping to make it in the NFL, and since then Ricky follows the team very intently.
I have no doubt he's always wanted to make the jump into coaching and per his agent (via Gantt's article) Ricky had turned down offers from two different teams each of the last two off-seasons to join them as a WR coach. Honestly, I believe this is solely because of his attachment to the Carolinas. I don't get the feeling he's someone who wants to move his family, or live somewhere else for a job, but the Panthers represent a short commute for him.
If there's one thing we've learned about the Carolina Panthers this off-season is that if they call someone in for an interview then more than likely they have their eyes set on them. I think Proehl would be a great hire and knowing his ongoing fervor for both the NFL and the Carolina Panthers I think he would be a solid addition to the coaching staff.