Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said during a press conference yesterday that the team wouldn’t interview “a large group” of candidates for their head coach vacancy. Prior to that press conference, Steve Wilks, Frank Reich, and Jim Caldwell were the only names firmly attached to the Panthers interview process. Since then, Shane Steichen, Mike Kafka, Ken Dorsey, and Ben Johnson have been added to that list.
Dorsey (41), Johnson (36), Kafka (35), and Steichen (37), are all on the younger side for an NFL head coach. The average age is about 50 years old. They also all have a history of either coaching or playing quarterback and are all currently offensive coordinators.
We’re going to give you a deeper dive into every candidate the Panthers interview in the coming days, but the shape of this list implies a certain direction in which Tepper wants this search to move. If Fitterer was truthful in saying it won’t be a large group then it is safe to say that the majority of candidates will be young minds with NFL experience, offensive backgrounds, and experience working directly with quarterbacks.
Two out of those three would qualify as things the Panthers have never had in a head coach before. Three, depending on how you qualify the last hire.