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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More Staff, Including DeHaven

In a very, very bizarre twist after hiring Richard Rodgers as Special Teams coach after interviewing outside candidates, the Panthers have hired Bruce DeHaven as his assistant.

The long-time veteran special teams coach isn't someone I can find as a potential hire here in the past - the Panthers interviewed, and potentially offered, Dave Toub (now with the Chiefs) and Bobby April (now with Dallas) the job.  It's hard to say if they did offer - or whether they were guys who got the one-year deal that was rumored to go around to a lot of staffers.  But, both landed on other staffs, and then the Panthers hired Rodgers.

So, DeHaven was a surprise.  I'd have expected a college special teams coach looking for a break, or maybe somebody's kid looking for work.  DeHaven's more or less the league's senior special teams guy - spending the last 26 years in a special teams role, most notably with the Bills.

There doesn't appear to be any real link between he and Ron Rivera or any other staffers, they just brought him in, as an assistant to someone with one year pro experience.  Fair enough.  I'd feel better if it were the other way around, but whatever gets the job done.

The team also hired an assistant WRs coach, Lance Taylor; he spent the last three years with the Jets as quality control coach, his final year adding Assistant TEs coach to his title.   That would've put him in the same building as Dave Gettleman, the new GM.  But, he also played under Mike Shula at Alabama (2003). He ended up getting a graduate assistant coaching job at Alabama in 2007, the year after Shula left; he coached a year at Appalachian State before joining the Jets in 2010.

So that may be all the staff Carolina provides.  It lost more (it had an assistant WRs coach, and an offensive QC guy, but may replace both with Taylor; it also lost the uncredited Bobby Babich as a defensive assistant), but that's not necessarily how those roles will be filled.


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