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Assistant Coach Options


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#1 Mr. Scot

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

There's no definitive indication that Ron Rivera plans any staff changes this coming season (Rivera's own future with the team is still up in the air). However, there have been some areas of weakness on this team that could stand a little improvement. And yes, some of that can be attributed to coaching.

So here's a look at some of the assistant coaches from the staffs of recently fired head coaches that could be available as replacements, should Rivera remain and be so inclined:

Dave Toub, Special teams Coach, Chicago Bears: Has a rep for being one of the better St coaches in the league (granted, having Devin Hester helps). Has plenty of history with Ron Rivera with both the Bears and the Eagles. Has gotten looks as a head coaching candidate. Coaches an area where the Panthers have been weak. On the downside, good chance the Bears will want to keep him even though they fired the top guy.

Bobby April, Special teams Coach, Philadelphia Eagles: Another guy with a very solid rep as a special teams coach, though this past season may have tarnished that rep a tad. April has coached a lot of teams and a lot of good units. Joined the Eagles in 2010 and would have worked together with DC Sean McDermott on that staff. More likely to be available than Toub.

Howard Mudd, Offensive Line Coach, Philadelphia Eagles: Considered a top OL Coach for several years. Coached the Colts units that protected Peyton Manning for about a decade. No connections that I know of to current Panthers staff but was with the Browns when Ernie Accorsi was the head man there. Came out of retirement to coach the Eagles after the Juan Castillo debacle. Could very well want to retire again. And speaking of which...

Juan Castillo, Former Offensive Line Coach, Philadelphia Eagles: Also known as a very good offensive line coach (just a lousy defensive coordinator). Was on the Eagles staff for the entire time Ron Rivera was in Philly and beyond. Younger, and with a better rep and stronger connection to Rivera, than current OL coach John Matsko. No confirmation at this point that Rivera thinks Matsko needs replacing, but if he did I'd expect Castillo to be the first guy that he calls.

Norv Turner, Former Head Coach, San Diego Chargers: Not much you could say here that hasn't already been said. Unknown if Rivera has any inclination to change from Rob Chudzinski or Mike Shula (gut feeling, he doesn't) but Norv would be an ideal replacement if he did. All in all though, probably more likely Norv ends up back in his old job as offensive coordinator in Dallas. Of course, the advantages we offer over Dallas are the chance to work with his son Scott and the opportunity to develop Cam Newton as opposed to trying to fix Tony Romo.

Hal Hunter, OC/Offensive Line Coach, San Diego Chargers: Arrived in San Diego just one year before Ron Rivera. Prior to that, spent four years as the OL coach for the North Carolina Tarheels. Has connections with both Ron Rivera and Rob Chudzinski in addition to having local history thanks to his stint with the Tarheels. His replacement OL coach (after he was moved to OC) Mike Sullivan, also has ties to Rivera and Chudzinski as well (via the Browns and Chargers both) but hasn't been coaching as long as Hunter and presided over a unit that had some issues of late.

Rich Bisaccia, Special Teams Coach/Assistant head Coach, San Diego Chargers: Very solid rep as a special teams coach. Formerly coached against the Panthers for several years as part of the Buccaneers coaching staff. Regional ties too having coached at the University of South Carolina from 1988 to 1994 and then at Clemson from 1994 to 1998. Did not arrive in San Diego until after Ron Rivera had already departed. No connections to current staff that I know of.

Jeff Hurd, Strength and Conditioning Coach, San Diego Chargers: Over 25 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach. Joined the Chargers staff the same year Ron Rivera did. Also like Rivera, grew up in California. Panthers might need a tweak in this area as for the past two years we keep filling up the injured reserve list at a ridiculous rate.

Russ Grimm, Former Offensive Line Coach, Arizona Cardinals: Grimm made a stellar rep as a longtime OL coach of the Steelers that took a hit during his days with the Cardinals. He has no connections to Ron Rivera that I know of but spent a few years as a teammate to assistant OL coach Ray Brown. Was a Hall of Fame level player with the Redskins and still commands respect among O-Linemen for how good a player he was.

There are certainly others, but these are the name that catch my eye as I look down the staff lists.

Again, no info as to whether there'll be openings, or even whether Rivera stays, but there are definitely some guys here whom I think are worth a look if he does.


UPDATE: Biisaccia is joining a college staff. Castillo, along with Pat Shurmur and Brad Childress, is expected to join Andy Reid in KC.

#2 CarolinaPanthers8789

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

Norv for OC seems like the best fit, but if Rivera doesn't get fired; I doubt anyone gets fired.

#3 chknwing

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

Dave Toub could be a realistic option, especially with his bread and butter, hester, saying he may retire.

#4 Mr. Scot

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

Norv for OC seems like the best fit, but if Rivera doesn't get fired; I doubt anyone gets fired.


Same here, but I do think we could do better in a couple of spots. And some of these are guys Ron Rivera would know quite well.

Obviously, the areas where I think we could get better are Special Teams, O-Line and Strength and Conditioning.

Would love to see us get Toub, Castillo and Hurd. Could also be happy with April and Hunter.

#5 rodeo

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

If Ron doesn't replace Chud, I sincerely hope he at least sits down with him and talks some sense into him regarding the scheme. It's never been more clearly illustrated from the first game to the last game how the weirdo read-option should not be our base offense. If we start next season and that is still our scheme, it's just as much of a "don't care" move by the team as hiring Beane.

#6 Mr. Scot

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

If Ron doesn't replace Chud, I sincerely hope he at least sits down with him and talks some sense into him regarding the scheme. It's never been more clearly illustrated from the first game to the last game how the weirdo read-option should not be our base offense. If we start next season and that is still our scheme, it's just as much of a "don't care" move by the team as hiring Beane.


I think Chudzinski is one of those really smart guys with an unfortunate habit of outsmarting himself.

McDermott had a bit of a rep for that too honestly, but it hasn't shown up in his time here.

I'd take Turner over Chudzinski in a heartbeat, but I'm not so sure Rivera would unless he were forced.

#7 DCR

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:05 PM

I think Chudzinski is one of those really smart guys with an unfortunate habit of outsmarting himself.

McDermott had a bit of a rep for that too honestly, but it hasn't shown up in his time here.

I'd take Turner over Chudzinski in a heartbeat, but I'm not so sure Rivera would unless he were forced.



This is the only way i would be happy to see Rivera stay

Similar scheme but more balanced offence , use our backs and take a lot of pressure off Cam

#8 KSpan

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

Based on the second half of.the season (once Murphy was fired), Chud is really the only assistant that I was relatively displeased with. Assuming Rivera stays I trust him if changes are made, but if things are relatively static I won't complain.

#9 csx

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:56 PM

If Rivera stays there will be no coordinator changes.

#10 Marguide

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

Like Scott, I think we could do better with maybe Castillo for oline and Toub for ST's.

I'd love Turner for OC but don't expect it.

Give me those 3 changes and I'd be happy as a clam. Even with RR staying.

#11 unicar15

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

This franchise will quickly become the joke of the NFC if we keep this staff and Beane as GM. It would really make me wonder about JRs ability to run a football team and whether or not someone else needs to take over for him.

#12 rayzor

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

my biggest issue with the idea of norv as OC is he's an old dog, can he learn a new trick...using a mobile QB? what would he do with cam' s running ability? would he force him to stay in the pocket? would he incorporate designed runs?


i just don't know how forward thinking or progressive he is. i don't know how creative he can be. he and his offense has been around along time and along with it his tendencies as a game planner and play caller.

i think his offense is a lot more suited for cam than the WCO and a lot more likely to remain relevant than the WCO, but i just worry that he'd be limiting the team by holding to his tried and true old model rather than trying to build something new that puts him and the offense ahead of the curve rather than being held back by the past.

#13 Herbert The Love Bug

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

If there is one thing we absolutely 100% do not need, it's an oline coach. Our 2 our line coaches need an award after this season. All the injuries and having to take random no names and get them to play at the level they did is incredible.

#14 Ken

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

I'd take Norv over Chud any day of the week. Toub would be nice as well.

#15 carolina-chuck

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

I'm on the Norv for OC wagon


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