Panthers Hire Nate Carroll, Pat McPherson, Daren Bates

Nate Carroll and Pat McPherson enjoyed rare stability as assistant coaches, remaining with the same team for 14 years. The Seahawks kicking Pete Carroll to an unspecified advisory role changed both staffers’ paths, but each will have another chance with one of the longtime HC’s former staffers.

Dave Canales will reunite with both McPherson and Nate Carroll. The Panthers hired McPherson as their tight ends coach, while Nate Carroll is coming aboard as Carolina’s pass-game coordinator. Nate is Pete’s son; this will be the younger Carroll’s first coaching gig outside of Seattle. While Pete Carroll’s background is on the defensive side, his son has come up through the offensive ranks.

Canales and Nate Carroll worked together for 12 years. That is quite the extended stretch for assistants, given the turnover the NFL’s coaching carousel brings. Pete Carroll’s longevity allowed for that, and his son will benefit and become a key part of the Panthers’ second go-round developing Bryce Young.

Nate, 36, moved up the ladder in Seattle, shifting from an offensive assistant to working as assistant wide receivers coach under Canales, who served as the Seahawks’ wideouts coach from 2010-17. Nate Carroll slid to a senior offensive assistant post over the past two seasons but will have a chance at his most significant role to date in Charlotte. The Panthers are still pot-committed with Young, and their complex developmental effort — which featured the blending of Frank Reich and then-OC Thomas Brown‘s concepts, with QBs coach Josh McCown a key voice — sputtering in 2023.

Whereas Nate Carroll bounced around on his father’s staff, Pete kept McPherson in one job throughout his Seattle stay. McPherson, 54, coached the Hawks’ tight ends from 2010-23. This represents remarkable consistency in the modern NFL. McPherson, though, does have a pre-Carroll past. He coached the Broncos’ quarterbacks from 2003-06, with that span covering Jake Plummer‘s four-year Denver career. Mike Shanahan shifted McPherson to tight ends in 2007, setting him up for a long run in Seattle coaching the likes of Jimmy Graham, Will Dissly and Noah Fant.

The Panthers are also hiring former linebacker Daren Bates as their assistant special teams coach and adding Keli’i Kekuewa as their assistant O-line coach. Bates operated as a backup for the Rams, Raiders, Titans and Falcons from 2013-21, focusing on special teams. He broke into coaching last season with the Seahawks. Continuing the Seattle-to-Charlotte theme, Kekuewa served as the Seahawks’ assistant O-line coach during each of Shane Waldron‘s three seasons as OC. There for two of those seasons, Canales will bring another ex-Seattle staffer with him on a staff that will feature considerable familiarity.

Canales’ staff certainly will not be light on restaurant recommendations for Seattle or Tampa trips. The new Panthers HC already identified a few Buccaneers assistants, including OC Brad Idzik, for his first staff.

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