Black and Blue Review

Black and Blue Review

Carolina Panthers News and Coverage for the Digital Age

Panthers’ Coaching Staff Shuffle Continues With Ricky Proehl’s Surprise Exit

Like he has a couple of times in the past, Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson on Tuesday played reporter:

Ricky Proehl's surprise "retirement" after six seasons coaching receivers in Carolina comes with valid reasons, even if the timing makes some speculate the move had something to do with general manager Dave Gettleman's two-week evaluation period.

Proehl's son, Austin, will head into his senior season at UNC next fall as the Tar Heels' top returning wideout, and his little brother, Blake, is getting ready to start his college career at East Carolina. Plus, their Dad's business — "a family sports complex and fitness center" in Greensboro — continues to show signs of growth.

So while Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess haven't developed as quickly as expected, Proehl's departure was likely just a choice made by a father who wants to see his sons' games.

Now, who will replace Proehl?

Assistant receivers coach Cameron Turner is probably too green for the job, so expect the Panthers to search for a guy with more experience. That group could be led by Jerry Sullivan, who's coached NFL receivers since the early 90s, but who wasn't retained by new Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone.

Proehl's exit means the Panthers now have two openings. Perry Fewell was expected to get a long look as defensive backs coach, but Jacksonville hired him late last week.

It's unclear who else the Panthers have lined up for that vacancy, but stay tuned for one more possible move.

The sense late this season was quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey was less than safe, and rumblings about him joining Sean McDermott's staff in Buffalo continue to grow.

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