Jim Skipper, a mainstay under the John Fox regime, might finally come
home again. Profootballtalk.com has an unsourced rumor suggesting that
Ron Rivera has reached out to the former assistant for its RBs coach
job. The assistant was an assistant head coach under Fox, a rumored
college head coach a few times, a former XFL head coach, and Jim
Fassel's first playcaller in NY.** More anecdotally, he was an assistant
coach with the USFL's Philly/Baltimore Stars that featured a young Sam
Mills, and on most of the same Saints teams thereafter.
Skipper didn't move with Fox (Eric Studesville was an interim head
coach, so there was pressure to keep him) like most Panther assistants,
and eventually ended up in Tennessee (where he was fired, along with
most Titans assistants, though Skipper was tasked with the problems with
Rivera had a shot at Skipper in 2011 - reportedly interviewing him but
not offering to him. Inexperienced John Settle, who knew the O from
Paul Chryst in Wisconsin, apparently made a good impression at Senior
Bowl and was one of two college coaches hired (both he and LBs coach
Warren Belin have been released this year).
The move will definitely be popular with Jonathan Stewart, expected to
be the starer in 2013. But none of the other backs from Skipper's
tenure are anticipated back - assuming some movement with Deangelo
This is the first non-coordinator assistant rumor to come out,
potentially pushing the staff a little further to completion. Carolina
has fired 3 coaches, and lost two more, in the last two weeks. Skipper,
if the team feels he's the right fit, is the right hire.
**his experience in New York, 1997-2000 isn't any less interesting with
Dave Gettleman aboard. Skipper as an unofficial OC was scapegoated by
Fassel, as was Sean Payton later on.