JANUARY 20: Disner has withdrawn from general manager consideration, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports. As a result, he will remain in Detroit for at least a fifth straight season. Carolina was the only team to request an interview with him, but the Panthers have reached out to a number of other candidates in recent days as their search for a Fitterer replacement continues.
JANUARY 10: Although this Eagles season has skidded well off course, the team still reached 11 wins. Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator situation has seen some twists and turns, but its offensive play-caller is now part of the coaching carousel.
The Panthers sent Eagles OC Brian Johnson an interview request Wednesday, ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. This would be Johnson’s first NFL head coaching interview. The former college OC is finishing up his first season as an NFL play-caller. Johnson has been on Carolina’s radar for a bit. Steve Wilks had eyed Johnson as his OC, but the Panthers gave the HC job to Frank Reich.
Johnson, 36, has seen his profile raised since Shane Steichen accepted the Colts’ offer to become their head coach. The Eagles moved outside the organization to fill their DC post — something they may need to do again soon, considering what has transpired since Jonathan Gannon‘s Cardinals interview — but promoted Johnson after his two-year run as QBs coach.
The Eagles have dipped a bit offensively since last season, when Steichen’s attack featured dramatic Jalen Hurts improvement and third-place rankings in both scoring and yardage. Johnson’s offense ranks seventh and eighth, with Hurts suffering an early-season injury and playing through it. The Eagles have lost five of their past six games.
Carolina has been connected to a young, offense-oriented coach. Johnson checks both boxes and joins Brian Callahan (Bengals), Dave Canales (Buccaneers), Ben Johnson (Lions), Todd Monken (Ravens), Bobby Slowik (Texans) and Frank Smith (Dolphins) as OCs contacted by the Panthers, who are searching for both a head coach and a GM for the first time in the same cycle since John Fox and Marty Hurney were hired in 2002.
The Panthers have also completed a virtual interview with interim HC Chris Tabor. Tabor is not expected to be a serious candidate to become Carolina’s full-time HC. That said, ESPN.com’s David Newton indicates he is likely to receive consideration to stay on as special teams coordinator under the new coach.
On the GM note, the Panthers have two more candidates on their radar. In addition to Dan Morgan, another internal staffer — VP of football administration Samir Suleiman — is interviewing for the job. A salary cap specialist, Suleiman received a promotion in 2022. The Panthers have been linked to pairing Morgan with a football ops-side hire; Suleiman joins a list filled with this genre of GM candidate.
Adding another name to that list, Lions COO Mike Disner received an interview request as well. Disner’s background also is cap- and contract-related. Disner, who has been with the Lions for four years, has a connection in Carolina. He and the Panthers’ VP of player personnel, Adrian Wilson, worked in the Cardinals’ front office together under Steve Keim. Then again, it is far from certain the Panthers will carry over many Scott Fitterer-era front office staffers; the team hired Wilson last year. A relationship to perhaps monitor more closely: Ben Johnson has been with the Lions throughout Disner’s Detroit stay.