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Friday, February 2, 2007

Geep Chryst the new TEs coach

After waiting for around two weeks, in what seemed destined to be a waiting game for Pete Metzelaars, the Panthers chose another position coach from within: Geep Chryst, former Cardinals and Chargers offensive coordinator, is the new tight ends coach, replacing Dave Magazu, now the offensive line coach.

Chryst was hired last year, likely as an insurance policy in the event staff changes had to be made. A versatile and knowledgeable assistant, Chryst has varied experience and was considered to be able to handle any of a wide array of roles for the offense, but had not been working in the NFL for 2004-2005.

This led credence to the idea that Mike McCoy was actually doing the duties he'd been promoted to, when he became quarterbacks coach in 2004. At the time, it had been noted that Dan Henning had specifically asked not to have a QBs coach in 2002, and never had one in other offenses he'd run. Henning, himself a quarterbacks coach in title in Carolina in 2002-03 along with his ongoing coordinator job, and QBs coach for Bill Parcells/Charlie Weis in New York, Joe Gibbs in Washington (after the first failed head coach try in Atlanta), was rumored to feel that QBs coaches often had too much input into the offense and didn't want that level of statement in an assistant.

With McCoy being pushed by John Fox to do more in depth with the offense, Chryst was to do more of the offensive assistant duties that McCoy had done, including breaking down of game tape for tendencies and scouting. It was speculated that Chryst, a former QBs coach in between offensive coordinator engagements, would be able to succeed McCoy if promoted, and in the meantime, impart wisdom on the young coach.

Getting a Foot In The Door

It appears becoming a Panthers' third-tier assistant (assistant position coach, quality control, etc) is the perfect way to find a job. From 2002's initial staff to 2006, only Magazu and Mike Maser were hired from outside the staff, unless you count the addition of coaches like Danny Crossman, Geep Chryst, and Ken Flajole as third-tier assistants; in that time, Crossman, Flajole, Magazu, Chryst, McCoy, Sal Sunseri, and most notably Mike Trgovac have filled almost all of the vacancies. As well, Alvin Reynolds, Paul Ferraro, and Darrin Simmons have used third-tier assistant positions to become position coaches for other teams.

In that same time period, Magazu and Maser are joined by only Jeff Davidson and Tim Lewis as outside hires in that five year span. While most coaching positions are related in one way or another by connections to existing staff and the head coach (the only legitimate reason the Rooney Rule has any real standing), it seems the staff handling interior hires has done a good job spotting coaching talent waiting for a break, and then relied on that break to fill vacancies.
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