Jim Popp, General Manager of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, is a candidate for the GM job in Carolina.
Arguably the most successful General Manager in CFL history, Popp has won four Grey Cups (1995 with the Baltimore Stallions;2002, 2009, and 2010 with the Alouettes) and his teams have appeared in 10 Grey Cups (eight over the past decade).
Something most GM candidates don't have? Coaching experience. Popp coached at his alma mater (Michigan St), UNC, and the Citadel before moving to help coach Saskatchewan of the CFL. As WR coach, he was also given director of personnel duties, which he took to the Stallions as GM. When the Ravens moved to town, the CFL franchise moved to Montreal and became the Alouettes; they've been in 10 Grey Cups under Popp, and have won four.
Popp actually named himself coach twice - 2001, and 2006-07. IN 07, he hired former 49ers assistant (and reported Marty Hurney candidate for OC last year) Marc Trestman, who led the team to back to back Grey Cups.
Initially, you'd say, that's still odd - being in the NFL from the CFL. There's a local tie or two in there, though. The 48 year old Elkin native moved south to go to Mooresville HS (the team's stadium carries his father's name), lives in Charlotte in the offseason, and most interestingly, he's a Panthers season ticket holder.
I'm not 100% certain what to say about this one. I like that we're looking outside the box; my initial reaction was a bit of shock, and somewhat disappointment. But, it's growing on me. I don't really care if he's from here, but I like that he's had success. It's not unlike finding a top college coach with pro experience, in a way.
Popp interviews late this week. Apparently Marc Ross is the first in, tonight. Beane, Gettleman, Paton, and Dawson will all interview this week. There was a report out there that John Dorsey was a candidate, but as of yet there's nothing solid about that.
One rumor puts Gettleman as Accorsi's top pick going into interviews. We'll see what happens.