We’ve got four more candidates to add to the Panthers head coaching search. The Panthers have announced that they’ve requested interviews with nine head coaching candidates, with four new names joining our list:
- Mike Macdonald, Ravens defensive coordinator
- Raheem Morris, Rams defensive coordinator
- Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator
- Frank Smith, Dolphins offensive coordinator
These four coaches join a growing list of candidates, a grouping that also includes Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales, and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.
Macdonald joins his offensive counterpart in Baltimore in interviewing for the open Carolina gig. The second-year Ravens DC helped guide the NFL’s top-scoring defense in 2023. Macdonald also managed to squeeze unexpected production from his pass rushers; despite Kyle Van Noy signing in September and Jadeveon Clowney catching on late in the summer, the duo combined for 18.5 sacks this past season. The Commanders have already requested an interview with Macdonald for their head coaching vacancy.
Morris also got an interview from the Commanders, the organization in which he served as the secondary coach between 2012 and 2014. Morris has spent the past three seasons as the Rams defensive coordinator, and he’s been a popular name on the interview circuit in recent years. He interviewed twice for the Vikings job in 2022, and he was linked to the Broncos and Colts gigs in 2023. Morris is seeking his second head coaching job after leading the way in Tampa Bay between 2009 and 2011.
After withdrawing from head coaching interest in each of the past two offseasons, we heard recently that Quinn is now believed to be “more receptive to the right offer.”After a hot start to his Falcons head coaching tenure, Quinn was fired in 2020 following two-straight 7-9 campaigns and an 0-5 start to the 2020 season. He’s spent the past three seasons as the Cowboys defensive coordinator, overseeing a unit that’s finished top-five in points allowed and top-10 in yards allowed each season.
This is the first job that Smith has been connected to, although we previously heard that the Dolphins offensive coordinator was expected to generate some head coaching interest. Smith and head coach Mike McDaniel finally saw their offensive vision come to fruition in 2023, with the unit finishing second in points scored and first in yards. Both the passing offense and rushing offense have taken off this season, making Smith an intriguing candidate regardless of personnel.