South Rumors: Panthers, Colts, Texans

Although the Panthers have two outside candidates set to interview for their GM post, they are expected to retain Marty Hurney, Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk notes. The Panthers do not plan to have a formal interview with its interim GM, who is in his second stint in this job, but “everyone in their building” knows Hurney will get the job over Jimmy Raye III and Lake Dawson. Both black, Raye and Dawson will satisfy the Rooney Rule requirement. However, Gantt notes that with the Panthers effectively knowing what they will do here, this represents another shortcoming of the rule — even if it’s not as transparent as the Raiders’ Jon Gruden hire. This franchise being up for sale, however, may not ensure optimal job security for Hurney. But he’s expected to receive another crack after running the Panthers this season.

Here’s the latest from the South divisions.

  • The Panthers‘ interview with Raye¬†will take place on Thursday and they’ll meet with Dawson on Friday for the GM job, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The Texans’ assistant GM, Raye interviewed for the top jobs in Houston, Indianapolis and San Francisco only to be passed over. The Bills’ assistant college scouting director, Dawson interviewed with the Panthers after they fired Hurney the first time. But Carolina chose Dave Gettleman.
  • Under expected new DC Matt Eberflus, the Colts are likely to implement a 4-3 scheme to take the place of the 3-4 look they’ve used for most of this decade, Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star writes. Eberflus’ background comes in Dallas’ 4-3 look, one the Colts used to some success during their run of playoff berths in the 2000s. Outside linebackers John Simon and Jabaal Sheard would shift to ends, and Johnathan Hankins has four years’ experience as a 4-3 nose. Keefer notes the team will need to upgrade its linebacker situation, however, before this move comes to pass.
  • If the Texans want to become a 2018 contender, they need to address their offensive line, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com posits. Houston traded Duane Brown and has three starters eligible for free agency. And the team’s Jeff Allen contract has not worked out especially well. Derek Newton remains without a timetable, and the Texans — thanks to multiple trades with the Browns — do not have a pick in the first two rounds come April. So, some of the team’s free agency budget will need to be allocated here.
  • The Titans could be set to make ex-Ravens DC Dean Pees‘ retirement short.
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