NFC South Notes: Panthers, Falcons, Saints

With their offensive and defensive coordinators in place, the Panthers shored up their final coordinator position under new head coach Dave Canales by hiring Seahawks assistant special teams coach Tracy Smith as their new special teams coordinator, according to Panthers staff writer Darin Gantt.

Like new offensive coordinator Brad Idzik, who coached with Canales in Tampa Bay and Seattle, Smith was on a staff with Canales and Idzik when the three were all coaching for the Seahawks. In his time with Seattle, Smith has been a part of a special teams group that has been among the league’s best in each of the last three seasons.

With Idzik and Smith taking over units that will play with a top-four defense led by Ejiro Evero, the Panthers are hoping their new coaching staff under Canales will deliver the desired results in 2024.

Here are a few more staff updates coming out of the NFC South:

  • The Panthers were also able to add a new mentor for second-year quarterback Bryce Young today. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Will Harriger has been hired as Carolina’s new quarterbacks coach. Harriger, who comes out of Dallas as a quality control coach and offensive assistant, has experience with Canales from their time in Seattle.
  • Carolina wasn’t the only NFC South team to add a new quarterbacks coach recently as both the Saints and Falcons found new passing mentors, as well. Atlanta is bringing in Saints offensive assistant D.J. Williams to coach their passers as assistant quarterback coach, per Rod Walker of The Times-Picayune. Williams is the son of former NFL quarterback and current Commanders personnel senior advisor Doug Williams. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tells us that New Orleans will hire Andrew Janocko as quarterbacks coach. Janocko most recently served the same role in Chicago and has worked with the Vikings, as well.
  • Finally, the Panthers will part ways with senior director of football strategy and analytics Taylor Rajack, according to Seth Walder of ESPN. A former Eagles staffer, Rajack has been with Carolina since 2019.
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