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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Panthers targeting head coach candidate who previously turned them down?

David Tepper at a Panthers game

Jul 26, 2018; Spartanburg, SC, USA; Carolina Panthers new owner David Tepper walks to the field during training camp held at Wofford College. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are once again in need of a new head coach, and they are reportedly planning to circle back on at least one candidate who previously turned them down.

Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported on Wednesday that the Panthers plan to reach out to Ben Johnson. The Detroit Lions offensive coordinator interviewed with Carolina last season but then removed his name from consideration.

Johnson was said to be a top target for the Panthers before he declined a second interview, so it is no surprise they are circling back. The question is whether Johnson will feel differently this time around, especially since he is expected to receive interest from several teams.

Johnson, 37, has been with the Lions since 2019. He began as an offensive quality control coach and then became the tight ends coach in 2020 and 2021. Dan Campbell promoted Johnson to offensive coordinator last season, and Detroit’s offense has been outstanding since. The Lions rank seventh in the NFL this season with 26.7 points per game and are averaging 405.5 yards per game, which ranks second in the league.

We know of at least one other team that is expected to pursue Johnson. The Panthers will likely have to get in line.

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