The Carolina Panthers continue to fill out their coaching staff, and their latest hire is a familiar name to new coach Matt Rhule.
The Panthers officially announced on Monday that Phil Snow is the team’s new defensive coordinator, moving to the NFL from the same position on Rhule’s staff at Baylor.
Snow has had a long career as a collegiate defensive coordinator, but has limited NFL experience. He served as the linebackers coach for the Detroit Lions from 2005-2008.
Snow joins a staff loaded with college coaching talent. In addition to Rhule himself, the Panthers have brought in the top offensive coach in the country last season to run that side of the ball. They’ve invested a lot in making that happen, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how it works out.
Matt Rhule said recently that he would only leave Baylor for the perfect opportunity, and the Carolina Panthers helped create that for him by making him one of the highest-paid head coaches in the NFL. Now, they may have to answer to the rest of the league’s owners.
Rhule signed a seven-year, $60 million deal with the Panthers that could be worth up to $70 million if he meets incentives. As one NFL coach told Robert Klemko of The Washington Post, other owners around the league are angry with David Tepper for shelling out so much money.
Giants owner John Mara confirmed the team would not pay the kind of money Carolina did for a first-time head coach.
While there are a few coaches in the NFL who earn more than Rhule, they are accomplished and experienced ones like Bill Belichick and Sean Payton. Rhule has never been a head coach in the NFL, so other teams could be concerned that first-time coaches will now point to the deal Rhule got from Carolina and demand massive contracts.
The coaching market isn’t as straightforward as the free agent market, so Rhule’s deal could end up being the exception for a first-time coach. Still, the amount the Panthers committed to paying him is likely a source of frustration for both other team owners and black assistant coaches who feel they are not being given a fair shot at advancing in the league.
The Carolina Panthers have agreed to a deal to hire Matt Rhule as their next head coach, and it is easy to see why Rhule was persuaded to leave Baylor.
While Rhule’s decision likely had to do with a lot more than money, he is getting a monster contract from the Panthers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the deal is worth $60 million over seven years and could go as high as $70 million with incentives.
That is a massive contract by any standard, but it is particularly eye-popping for a coach with no previous NFL head coaching experience. Bill Belichick is currently believed to be the highest-paid coach in the NFL with a salary of $12 million, with Pete Carroll close behind at $11 million. Rhule’s deal places him close to the $10 million Sean Payton makes with the New Orleans Saints and Jon Gruden earns with the Oakland Raiders.
Rhule said recently that he would only leave Baylor for the perfect job in a stable organization, and it sounds like he was open to accepting at least two NFL head coaching jobs. With the amount of money the Panthers are giving him, it’s hardly a surprise he is making the leap to the pros.
Baylor went 1-11 in Rhule’s first season as head coach but improved to 7-6 last year and 11-3 this season. He will need to lead that same type of rapid turnaround in Carolina to justify his salary.
Matt Rhule has generated a significant amount of interest on the NFL head coaching market over the past two seasons, and the Baylor coach has finally decided to make the leap from college to the pros.
Rhule has reached an agreement to become the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports first reported.
The Panthers also had interest in New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Media adds that team owner David Tepper was sold on Rhule after meeting with him and his family on Monday.
Rhule had been in consideration for the New York Giants job as well, and there were rumblings that he was their top target. He also drew interest from the Cleveland Browns but the interest was not mutual.
Rhule said recently that he would only leave Baylor for the perfect job and what he felt was a stable organization, so he obviously believes the Panthers can provide that. That is at least somewhat surprising given their uncertain situation at the quarterback position, but Rhule is likely thinking long term.
Baylor went 1-11 in Rhule’s first season, but they improved to 7-6 last year and 11-3 this season. They lost to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl after nearly sneaking into the College Football Playoff.
One team has been heavily linked to Baylor coach Matt Rhule, but he’s at least willing to sit for an interview with a second franchise.
Rhule will interview this week with the Carolina Panthers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, joining the New York Giants as a party where there appears to be mutual interest.
Rhule has been very picky about his openings, so this is good news for Carolina. He may ultimately prefer the opportunity with the Giants, but if he’s at least willing to talk to the Panthers, they presumably have a chance.
Rhule has gone 19-20 at Baylor, but he took a program that went 1-11 in his first season there to 11 wins in 2019. He’s highly regarded in NFL circles, and this isn’t his first chance to take a pro job.
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski’s market is heating up, and two teams are interested in speaking to him.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, Stefanski is set to meet with the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers over their vacant head coach jobs. With the Vikings playing a playoff game in New Orleans on Sunday afternoon, the exact timing is unclear and depends on how that game goes for Minnesota.
Only seven teams scored more points than the Vikings did this year, and Stefanski has been credited with helping Kirk Cousins become more efficient. Both Cleveland and Carolina seem interested in offensive minds, so he also fits the bill. The biggest issue will likely be timing, particularly if the Vikings win Sunday and keep going in the playoffs.
The Kansas City Chiefs have boasted one of the league’s best offenses for the last two years, and the man coordinating it may be rewarded with a head coaching gig as a result.
Eric Bieniemy, who has served in the role since prior to the 2018 season, has been the subject of interview requests from both the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Thought the offense dropped from first in both points and yardage this season, they were still fifth and sixth in those respective categories. The 50-year-old has overseen the offense that Patrick Mahomes has thrived in, and that alone makes him an enticing coaching candidate. A former NFL running back and Heisman Trophy finalist, he has served as a running backs coach for various teams, along with a two-year stint in college as Colorado’s offensive coordinator.
Bieniemy will have a lot of competitors for both roles. The Giants, in particular, may be able to attract one of the hotter college coaches on the market.
Mike McCarthy is among a list of potential head coaching candidates with whom the Carolina Panthers have already spoken, and he may be emerging as an early frontrunner for the job.
McCarthy interviewed with the Panthers following their game against the Indianapolis Colts last week, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that he has had two interviews with the team. Rapoport also notes that McCarthy “did very well.”
The Panthers have some other big names on their list as well, but they need to wait a bit before they can interview them. Josh McDaniels will once again be a hot name in head coaching talks, and Carolina would like to interview him. They are also interested in Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, who is preparing to take on Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.
McCarthy and Panthers owner David Tepper both hail from Pittsburgh, and Tepper has deep ties to the city. McCarthy has an impressive 125-77-2 record as an NFL head coach, and he won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers. There were some unflattering reports about him after he parted ways with the team, but it would not be a surprise if he lands another head coaching job for 2020.
The Carolina Panthers’ search for a new head coach is already well underway.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Panthers interviewed former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy following Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
McCarthy has been named as a potential candidate ever since the Panthers’ job became available. McCarthy and Panthers owner David Tepper both hail from Pittsburgh, and Tepper has deep ties to the city.
McCarthy is 125-77-2 as an NFL head coach, and has a Super Bowl win to his name. If Carolina is looking for experience, particularly in the postseason, he very much has it. However, there were plenty of rumors that he and Aaron Rodgers did not see eye-to-eye in their final days in Green Bay, and there were some other unflattering reports about the coach at the time that he firmly denied.
The second-to-last week of the NFL regular season settled some things, but left a lot of things wide open in Week 17. That’s good news for fans, but bad news for the teams and players who just weren’t able to get the job done in the penultimate week of the season.
Which of those teams and players fell short in Week 16? Here are 10 disappointments.
Dallas Cowboys’ offense
Simply brutal. Dallas hasn’t been eliminated from NFC East contention (here is their Week 17 playoff scenario), but on the evidence, they deserve to be. Dak Prescott missed open receivers. When he hit them, those receivers dropped passes. Ezekiel Elliott was bottled up. Amari Cooper caught just four passes for 24 yards and was a non-factor. The finger cannot be pointed at one person, but this was horrendous from Dallas in a game where they could have clinched the division against a defense that hasn’t exactly been elite.
Bill Callahan, coach, Redskins
This one is mostly a criticism from a fan standpoint. When Callahan’s Redskins scored a touchdown with 29 seconds left, it felt like they might as well go for the win. A two-point conversion would put them ahead. Both teams were 3-11 and had nothing to play for except draft position. Washington fans could have used the lift. Instead, Callahan kicked the extra point, and Washington never even touched the ball in overtime and lost to the Giants. Maybe he’s trying to get that No. 2 draft pick, but the whole thing felt very risk-averse when there was nothing to lose.