News of the three's hiring came out last week, but the organization didn't confirm reports until today via the team's website. It represents a triumvirate that nearly mirrors old wedding superstition -- someone old, someone new, and someone borrowed and blue.
Jim Skipper returns to the Carolina Panthers after being fired following the 2010 season. He has a rapport with the team's running backs, and was an unexpected firing when Ron Rivera took over as head coach. Skipper was hired to the same position in Tennessee, where his two seasons with the Titans were terrible. There was no reason for Skipper to be fired in the first place, and bringing him back is an acknowledgement of the team's floundering at RB over the last two seasons.
Becoming the team's new quarterback coach is Ken Dorsey, who has risen from the ranks of instructor at IMG academy, to pro scout with the Panthers, and now taking a dive into coaching. On its surface this was a smart move, but it remains to be seen whether the 31-year-old Dorsey can prove to be a true NFL coach. It's easy to give him ample credit for preparing Cam Newton for the NFL, but it's important not to get carried away. Time will tell if this move was smart, but it's unconventional to give someone an important position coach role without a history coaching the position, except privately.
Finally there's Al Holcomb -- the borrowed and blue. A defensive assistant for the New York Giants, who is now Carolina's new linebacker coach. Holcomb has no experience coaching at the NFL level. He's been a college position coach, but little more. Known as a hard worker, and a grinder -- it's clearly a move by Dave Gettleman to bring in someone who he saw talent from in New York. It's more inexperience for the coaching staff, but could pay dividends.
Ultimately this is a strange trio. Re-hiring Jim Skipper is an acknowledgement that Marty Hurney and Ron Rivera didn't have an eye for talent, but at the same time they've promoted Ken Dorsey who they brought in. Meanwhile, Al Holcomb seems to be purely a hiring by Dave Gettleman. Time will tell if these first coaching hirings between Gettleman and Rivera will pay off.