And just like that, the Panthers hired their next head coach in Frank Reich. Now, we wait to find out who his coordinators and assistants might be. The defensive coordinator spot should be addressed quickly, but the offensive coordinator could require some interviews. I dug into Frank Reich’s coaching tree to come up with some names to look at (though it is always possible he brings someone in that he’s never coached with). Let’s take a look.
Patullo is currently the passing game coordinator for the white hot Philadelphia Eagles offense. Despite being only 41, his coaching pedigree is quite extensive. He started as an offensive assistant and quality control coach for the Chiefs, and bounced around the league as an assistant coach in some fashion from 2007-2014, before becoming the quarterbacks coach for the Jets from 2015-2016. He was fired along with several other coaches in 2017, and went to Texas A&M as a senior offensive analyst. Then, he crossed paths with Reich, as he took over as wide receivers coach for the Colts from 2018-2019, and took over as pass game specialist in 2020 under offensive coordinator Mike Groh. In 2021, the Eagles hired him and he is currently coaching the team as pass game coordinator during a deep playoff run.
This is my personal pick among the coaches I researched as he has 16 years of offensive coaching experience and spent a great deal of time under the Frank Reich umbrella, before going to Philly to work with Nick Sirianni, another former Frank Reich offensive coach. I believe he’s an excellent fit for Reich because of the familiarity and experience, and he fits the bill as a young hotshot OC that David Tepper has been looking for.
Groh cut his teeth in the college game from 2001 to 2012 with various offensive position coaching jobs, including a 2 year stint at Virginia as offensive coordinator. He entered the NFL in 2013 as a wide receivers coach for the Bears, then became the passing coordinator/WR coach for the Rams in 2016. He went to Philadelphia in 2017 as wide receivers coach, but ended up taking over as offensive coordinator once Reich left in 2018. Groh was fired after the 2019 season and went to work with Reich in Indianapolis from 2020-2021, then went to the New York Giants in 2022 as their wide receivers coach.
Another coach who crossed paths with Reich in two organizations, he would be a name I might expect to come up as an interview, and he has offensive coordinator experience.
Brady’s coaching career began as a WR coach in the CFL from 2009-2011, before becoming an offensive coordinator from 2012-2017. In 2018, he joined Frank Reich’s staff as the assistant quarterbacks coach, and received a promotion to quarterbacks coach in 2019. In 2021, he took over as offensive coordinator following the departure of Nick Sirianni. He was fired in 2022 shortly after Reich by the Colts, and now serves as an offensive consultant for the (you guessed it) Philadelphia Eagles.
Brady would make a lot of sense as the Panthers OC, as he like Reich was fired from a Colts organization that seemed to be in disarray. They could pick up with business where they left off in 2023 if Reich so chooses.
Milanovich started his career in 2003 as a quarterbacks coach in NFL Europe, and eventually became an offensive coordinator in 2005. In 2007, he jumped to the CFL where he held offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach positions until 2012, when he became the head coach for the Toronto Argonauts. He resigned from the CFL after the 2016 season, and became the quarterbacks coach for the Jaguars from 2017-2019. He returned to the CFL in 2020 to be a head coach for the Edmonton Elks, however the season was cancelled due to COVID. He returned to the NFL in 2021 and served as quarterbacks coach under Frank Reich, who had promoted Marcus Brady to offensive coordinator.
This is another candidate with OC experience, albeit mostly in the CFL. Having been a head coach is also an attractive quality. He’s also a more quarterback focused coach and could help Reich develop Matt Corral and a potential rookie draft pick if that’s where the dominoes fall.
Staley spent the majority of his coaching career in Philadelphia, as a special teams quality control coach from 2011-2012, before transitioning to running backs coach from 2013-2020. He also became assistant head coach in 2018. Now, he’s the assistant head coach and running backs coach to Dan Campbell in Detroit.
This one is more of a projection on my part, as I have no idea if Duce ever had any interest or expertise in calling plays. However, Duce was considered a head coaching candidate towards the end of his run in Philly, and that is his goal currently in Detroit. He spent time with Reich in Philly when Reich was the OC, and an offer to be assistant head coach and OC to Reich could coax him from Detroit. It would certainly be a great fit as a former NFL running back to go to a team as historically rushing game focused as Carolina to run the offense in his bid to become a head coach.
There will be plenty more names out there for sure. But who are you looking at for the Panthers OC job? And how are you going to react when one of the names on my list ends up being hired so I can tell you I was right?