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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Signs Are Pointing Toward Continuity

Most teams don't have to worry about continuity at the end of year one, but this is the Carolina Panthers. The George Seifert regime had a coordinator depart after year one, and then a second after four more games. John Fox lost Jack Del Rio after a year.

So, now a year into Ron Rivera's tenure, the concern was losing either or both stellar young offensive coaches: OC Rob Chudzinski interviewed with the Jaguars this week, and QBs coach Mike Shula had been rumored to go to the University of Florida as OC.

For now, it looks like there will be no change.

Jay Gruden is the assumed front runner for the Jags job, and the Bengals just lost in the first round of the playoffs. Florida is likely to pickup Boise State's Brent Pease as OC. No other teams are looking for head coaches in Chud's direction right now, so it looks like the offensive staff will get another year before being picked apart.

There's a far less likely, but still possible, way for Carolina to change things up. With former Rivera associate and friend Dave Toub on the market (talking to Miami about a head coaching job, but not looking all that likely depending on Jeff Fisher), I'd like to see that as an upgrade over current ST coach Brian Murphy.

You don't fire a guy without a good reason, and Murphy's special teams were the worst part of the Panthers in 2011. The team lost numerous games that included a special teams touchdown, Olindo Mare lost two more with missed FGs, and little production showed up in return teams.

Toub, who worked with Rivera for three years in Philadelphia, and the pair moved to Chicago together in 2004, working together for three more years. He was special teams coach of the year in 2007.
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