The Carolina Panthers hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales to be their head coach on January 25, 2024. He is expected to bring along his long time right hand man Brad Idzik be the Panthers new offensive coordinator.
The Atlanta Falcons hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, Falcons interim head coach, and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to be their new head coach that same day. He hired former Rams quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Zac Robinson to be the team’s new offensive coordinator.
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints had the longest tenured offensive coordinator in the league in Pete Carmichael Jr. Carmichael had been with the team in that role since their 2009 Super Bowl winning season (15 years!). He was shuffled off the deck by Dennis Allen like so many deck chairs on the Titanic at the end of the 2023 season. The Saints are still interviewing candidates to replace Carmichael.
The Bucs, whose fans seem largely unhappy to have lost Canales after only one year, are also still interviewing candidates. Their search has included names like Alex Van Pelt, Ken Dorsey, Jerrod Johnson, and Antwaan Randle El.
Shockingly, the Panthers have one of the more attractive jobs available in the division. Idizk is a near lock for the role, but the Panthers have the opportunity to cast a wider net if they wanted to. So far they have only interviewed Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach Will Harriger and former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator (under Frank Reich) Marcus Brady as alternative candidates.
But compare them to the Bucs, where Todd Bowles is on the hot seat in spite of three consecutive division crowns and the Saints, where Dennis Allen is on the hot seat after two years of missing the playoffs. The Falcons job has, as mentioned, already been filled. The Panthers have an open job, a young quarterback, and a head coach with what might be the longest leash in the division. That’s not mention a relatively easy path to the playoffs in a division full of turmoil and historical failure.
Yes, that’s not to mention the question marks around Young and the team’s nearly criminal lack of draft capital, but we’re comparing the job to the other coordinator openings in the NFC South, not around the entire league.
That argument is, of course, all going to be rendered moot about thirty minutes after I publish this. Expect a quick announcement for Idzik’s hiring.
After that, we can move on to wondering what a brand new NFC South—featuring four new, possibly four first time, offensive coordinators—is going to look like in 2024.