Formerly of the Tennessee Titans Fred Graves has been released from his contract so he can accept the same position with the Carolina Panthers per Steve Reed via Twitter. Graves is a noteworthy hire primarily because he was Steve Smith's WR coach at the University of Utah. This is perhaps the most telling aspect to this hire as it would definitely be seen as a favorable move by Smitty. After being openly critical of the rookie WRs development last summer it's not outside the realm of possibility that Rivera and co asked the All-Pro receiver who he thinks should be the position coach and he suggested Graves' name, but that is pure speculation.
Our compatriots over at Music City Miracles don't seem too concerned with losing Graves as their tongue-in-cheek, laissez faire attitude dictates in their departure post.
From what I can ascertain of Graves he seems to be a teacher type WR coach who has helped develop Kenny Britt among others. From his bio on Titans.com
In his three seasons with the Titans, Graves has developed his corps into a reliable group of receivers. Both Justin Gage (55) and Nate Washington (47) posted career highs in their first seasons with the Titans. Last season he groomed rookie wide out Kenny Britt into the Titans leading receiver (701 yards), becoming the first rookie to lead the franchise in receiving yards since Chris Sanders in 1995. Britt’s receiving yardage total was the fifth highest by a rookie in franchise history and ranked fifth among NFL rookies last year. In 2008, Gage ranked third in the NFL in average yards per reception (19.1) and posted a career high six touchdown grabs. A stickler for precision, Graves’ receiver group has ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in two of the last three seasons in fewest drops per catchable pass (16 in 2007 and 22 in 2008, according to STATS, Inc.).
After the jump we'll look at his resume.
Tip of the hat to Jake Humphrey for bringing the hire to my attention.
UPDATE: From Gantt- "Panthers getting Graves a coup. 89 has been lobbying for him for years."
2007-10: Wide Receivers, Tennessee Titans
2005: Wide Receivers, Detroit Lions
2004: Wide Receivers, Cleveland Browns
2001-03: Wide Receivers, Buffalo Bills
1998-00: Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers, University of Utah
1995-97: Offensive Coordinator, University of Utah
1994: Asst. Head Coach/Wide Receivers, University of Utah
1991-93: Wide Receivers, University of Utah
1990: Running Backs, University of Utah
1982-89: Wide Receivers, University of Utah
1979-81: Tight Ends/Wide Receivers, New Mexico State
1977-78: Tight Ends/Wide Receivers, Western Illinois
1975-76: Tight Ends/Wide Receivers, Northeast Missouri St.
Panthers fans, what do you think of the hire?