After hiring Dave Canales as the Carolina Panthers next head coach, they opted to part ways with 2023 interim head coach and special teams coordinator Chris Tabor and 2023 offensive line coach James Campen. Now, reports are coming out with some ideas as to who Canales is targeting for his assistant roles. For starters, a new special teams coach might already have been identified.
I'm told Panthers coach Dave Canales is targeting Seattle's Tracy Smith as Panthers' special teams coordinator. Smith was the special teams assistant on the Seahawks' staff, which is pretty much free to go after Pete Carroll stepped down.— Joe Person (@josephperson) January 27, 2024
The Panthers might have found their Tabor replacement on special teams, as Tracy Smith served alongside Canales towards the end of his career in Seattle from 2021-2022.
The #Panthers requested an interview with #Cowboys quality control/offensive assistant Will Harriger for their quarterbacks coach job, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 27, 2024
Harriger was on staff with Dave Canales in Seattle and worked with USC’s QBs in 2022, when Caleb Williams won the Heisman Trophy.
Will Harriger served alongside Canales in Seattle from from 2014-2020 as as an offensive assistant and assistant and assistant quarterbacks coach during that time, meaning he would have been working closely with Dave for a great deal of that time. He makes a lot of sense to bring in as the QB coach under the Canales coaching tree.
And finally, the Panthers requested to interview Marcus Brady for their offensive coordinator position. Brady actually served alongside Frank Reich in Indianapolis before he got fired there. He now serves as an offensive assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles. This could be a simple Rooney Rule interview, however I had him pegged as an OC candidate during last season’s round of interviews before the Panthers decided to bring in a bunch of coaches who don’t really know each other on offense.
I think current Bucs WR coach Brad Idzik will end up being the guy for OC, as he’s been referred to as Canales’ “right hand man”, however the search clearly isn’t over.
And one interesting note, the Panthers haven’t done a ton of work on the defensive side. The temperature to me seems that unless Ejiro Evero gets a head coaching gig with Seattle, the Panthers defense is his and the coaching staff on that end will likely remain mostly intact. The Panthers haven’t been pushing to make changes on that side of the ball, at least yet, coaching wise.
What are your thoughts, Panthers fans?