The Carolina Panthers recently decided to part ways with head coach Ron Rivera, who had held the position since 2011. The action itself wasn’t surprising per se, rather it was the timing that caught many by surprise. Apparently, team owner David Tepper was tired of waiting for the finish line.
The Panthers are perhaps most ready to move into 2020 with a clean slate. Firing Rivera gives them a chance to possibly hire more of an offensive-minded head coach. Perhaps, if Tepper is looking for a coach that fits the bill for today’s NFL, one option is Mike McCarthy.
McCarthy was fired as Green Bay Packers coach in the last season due to his team underperforming and his rocky relationship with Aaron Rodgers. While he and Rodgers soured, his pedigree is still impressive, nonetheless.
It’s worth noting that McCarthy’s play-calling and coaching helped Rodgers smoothly transition in the post-Brett Favre era. Under McCarthy’s direction, Rodgers won two MVPs, a Super Bowl and became one of the most efficient passers in NFL history. While lack of growth in the Packers’ offense led to his demise, McCarthy did enough to become attractive to potential suitors.
For the Panthers, McCarthy’s expertise in offensive development and play calling could be key for them moving forward. With Newton under center the last few years, the Panthers have faltered due to the league catching on to their power-running scheme and his health declining.
With the league’s shift to more precision passing concepts, a coach of McCarthy’s caliber would help Newton develop into a better quarterback. However, it still appears unlikely that Newton even returns. There’s a growing belief that Newton’s time in Carolina is done, but even if that’s the case, hiring McCarthy would still be a step in the right direction.
If the Panthers decide to move forward with Allen returning to a backup role, the draft class is rich with quarterback talent. Some of the top options include the following; Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow. If Tepper is truly about change then a trade up for one of these three will be proof. There, McCarthy can start anew with a prototypical pocket passer suited for today’s NFL.
In the end, the decision remains up to Tepper. A move of firing Rivera in the manner he elected showed the NFL world he meant business and is seeking to revitalize his middling franchise. Hiring McCarthy would express a similar message.