Wanted to throw out a couple of thoughts, specific to the team and its
state during this early portion of what will inevitably be a losing
season, unless some massive things change.
Coaching Change -
In the natural assumption that things don't get better, absolutely -
there will be coaching change. Wholesale.
The rub comes at what point it happens.
Jerry Richardson hasn't ever fired a head coach before the season ends.
That includes George Seifert's fifteen losses in a row. That includes
intentionally setting up John Fox, Seifert, and depending on how you
look at it, Dom Capers (I really feel like Dom hung himself, moreso than
that Richardson wanted to push him out).
The caveat is that, last year, he fired GM Marty Hurney a month into
the season. That was a somewhat unprecedented move, though Hurney is
not a coach.
So I don't know if Ron Rivera gets fired. And I don't believe there
are any incredibly dynamic assistants who require a look at being head
coach. But, if a move was made?
*Sean McDermott has done a decent job, but this is Rivera's defense.
Nonetheless, Steve Wilks deserves a shot as a coordinator one day (even
if it shoots his depleted DBs in the foot, since he'll have less time
for them and he has no assistant).
*Mike Shula, you couldn't necessarily argue deserves that chance
anyway. Do Ricky Proehl and Ken Dorsey impress? Absolutely. Will
anyone with that little experience be able to step in and be
coordinator? Probably not.
*So that leaves Jim Skipper. He has a little head coaching (if XFL)
experience, and he wouldn't massively disrupt either side of the ball.
He'd be a steadying force as well.
I've read discussion of outside coaches ("let's go get Lovie Smith/Jon
Gruden/Bill Cowher!!!1"). The league just doesn't work that way, and I
can't think of the last time it did (best example I could find would be
the (2009) Redskins forcing Sherm Lewis on Jim Zorn, and that was an
assistant being pushed on a head coach in midseason, not replacing a
This is not a realistic solution, and it's not about to happen. Lovie
Smith joining the team as a head coach in October is about as likely as
digging up George Halas' corpse at this point for the same purpose.
It's early, but if it were me, I'd have to dig for a college head
coach versed in spread and hurry-up, and design an offense around Cam
Newton. Give Cam the year to grow in that scheme if you need before
wrapping him up, but nonetheless, really put it all together around him.
Follow that with a decent college DC who can unwrap a good
nickel-based scheme that will be prepared for the changes the NFL is
about to go through.
The truth is, the old-school approach of Jerry Richardson and Dave
Gettleman would resist that approach to a point. Does Lovie Smith look
like a good way to go? Not in my opinion, and Perry Fewell is a
vaccinated version of Smith, but those two seem to be mentioned a
I don't know if a Kevin Sumlin is realistic (he's already turned the
NFL down before). I don't know if Carolina would even hire a
progressive offensive coach as head coach.