Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

4 Things to Know About Panthers’ Assistants Potential Interviews

An offshoot of the Carolina Panthers' success this season means other clubs may try to poach an assistant or two for their head coach openings.

Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott is one of the hottest names out there. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula and assistant head coach/secondary coach Steve Wilks could also hear their phones ring.

The NFL has a set of guidelines for how and when teams are allowed to contact coaches they're interested in, rules that are sometimes confusing. So let's clear some things up ahead of time.


1.) Coaches on playoff teams with a first-round bye are allowed to interview before the end of the Wild Card games. Because the Panthers have a bye, that means their assistants can talk to interested teams next week. Ron Rivera was vague when asked Thursday if he'd be OK with his coaches interviewing next week, but he allowed McDermott to meet with Washington in 2013 ahead of the Panthers' Divisional Round game with the 49ers.


2.) Teams that want to talk with the coach of an active playoff team for a head coaching vacancy are required to ask his current employer for permission. Because it'd be a bad look to stunt the possible advancement of one of your guys, granting permission is mostly a formality.


3.) Coaches on teams with bye weeks can only have one interview with each interested team next week, and that meeting has to be held in the city of the assistant's home team.


4.) After Wild Card weekend, coaches on teams still alive in the playoffs can't interview again until their team is eliminated, or, if they win their conference championships, until the off week before the Super Bowl or after the Super Bowl.


A recent example to keep in mind is Dan Quinn. As Seattle's defensive coordinator last year, he was interviewed by Atlanta during the Seahawks' first-round bye week. The Falcons then watched other teams fill openings while they waited for Quinn, who they interviewed again a day after Seattle won the NFC Championship. By rule, the two sides weren't allowed to agree on a contract until after the Super Bowl, which they did one day after the Seahawks lost to the Patriots.

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