During his introductory press conference, new Panthers head coach Dave Canales praised incumbent defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero. That pointed to the latter being retained, and the team will indeed head in that direction.
Joe Person of The Athletic confirms Carolina will keep Evero in place for 2024 (subscription required). Person adds that most of the Panthers’ defensive staffers are expected to stay put as well, meaning Carolina will have stability on that side of the ball. Evero was again a top candidate for both head coaching and defensive coordinator postings in the 2024 hiring cycle.
He met twice with the Panthers before they elected to hire Canales, but also the Falcons and Seahawks. Evero was also linked to several DC openings, but the Panthers blocked him from interviewing on three different occasions. The 43-year-old led a 2-15 Panthers team to a fourth-place finish in total defense, after guiding the Broncos to seventh in that department in 2022.
Facing uncertainty at the onset of the hiring cycle with respect to the head coaching position, the Panthers made it clear Evero would receive consideration to remain in place at least until a HC hire was made. Canales is a rookie head coach, and he landed the Carolina gig after a single season as offensive coordinator with the Buccaneers. While his attention will thus primarily be on overseeing quarterback Bryce Young‘s development and that of the offense as a whole, Evero will remain a key staffer in charge of the defense.
Carolina ranked 29th in points allowed in 2023 despite the team’s strength in certain defensive categories, and improvement in that regard will be a goal moving forward. A more productive showing on offense will aid that effort, of course, but continuity on the sidelines will help Evero and Co.’s efforts to deliver another impressive showing. Doing so would no doubt keep him on the HC radar for the 2025 cycle.