The Carolina Panthers have hired former Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, and Wake Forest University head coach Jim Caldwell as a senior assistant. Caldwell brings a wealth of experience to the table and some familiarity with the Panthers new head coach, Frank Reich.
The #Panthers do what so many others had tried: They hire Jim Caldwell as a senior assistant.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 14, 2023
Caldwell held the job of quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach with the Indianapolis Colts when Reich got his first job in coaching as an intern with the Colts in 2006 when the pair was working with Peyton Manning. He promoted Reich to quarterbacks coach in 2009 when Caldwell was promoted to the head coach job in Indianapolis.
Their paths split afterwards, with both holding head coaching jobs with other teams and without each other on staff. That is all to say that familiarity in this case is not the kind that Panthers fans are necessarily used to. Reich’s staff so far does not consist of a bunch of guys who he would feel honor-bound to hire again in his next stop as the head coach of the Washington Commanders because nobody else would give them a second look.
Caldwell was still a hot name around the league in 2023, though the Panthers were the only ones to interview him for the head coaching position. His experience and success across a long career make him a valuable voice in any room in the NFL. He is also the third coach to join the Panthers after being interviewed as a candidate for the head coach job. He joins Reich and defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero in that regard.
Hiring Caldwell also helps bolster the staff’s expertise in coaching quarterbacks. Between Reich, Caldwell, and newly hired quarterbacks coach Josh McCown, the team has three strong, experienced voices at that position. That opens up their candidate list at offensive coordinator to more than just quarterback “whisperers”.