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Carolina Panthers to interview Frank Reich, Jim Caldwell for head coaching vacancy

Frank Reich
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

We’re entering another offseason full of change around the NFL in a world that features non-stop speculation, leading to early scoops and smokescreens. No one knows what to expect out of teams such as the Carolina Panthers and their head coaching vacancy, but names such as Frank Reich and Jim Caldwell are beginning to emerge.

According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, both are already set for interviews in Charlotte, with team owner David Tepper looking forward to speaking with both of the experienced NFL head coaches.

There’s also the option of keeping or promoting Steve Wilks from the interim position to the full-time gig, something the Panthers are also reportedly considering. Yet, as we know, this is simply the beginning of what’s expected to be a thorough vetting process as the Panthers front office, led by general manager Scott Fitterer.

Related: Jim Harbaugh’s interest in Carolina Panthers apparently not mutual

Carolina Panthers said to be seeking offensive-minded head coach

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

As Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports noted, the Panthers were previously said to be targeting an offensive-minded head coach with previous NFL experience. After his experience with Rhule, who tried to take his college success to the pros, it makes sense for Tepper to prioritize someone who’s already proven capable at the pro level.

If this is truly the criteria, both Reich and Caldwell certainly fit the bill. They have also both been to the Super Bowl, with Caldwell winning a ring with the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens and Reich doing the same with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Caldwell has seven previous years as an NFL head coach. A three-year stint with the Indianapolis Colts, where he reached the AFC Championship with Peyton Manning, followed by a four-year run with the Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford, missing the playoffs each year.

Since being let go by the Lions in 2017, Caldwell has spent just one season on an NFL coaching staff, which came with the Miami Dolphins in 2019 as an assistant head coach/QB coach.

Reich’s experience is much more recent. Since his Super Bowl win as offensive coordinator with the Eagles in 2017, Reich has spent the past four-plus seasons at the helm for the Indianapolis Colts. He reached the postseason twice before being fired after Week 9. He remains a strong candidate to land on his feet with another NFL team in the upcoming hiring cycle.

Both Caldwell and Reich have plenty of experience leading an NFL offense and will certainly bring interesting concepts to their meetings with Tepper. If fixing the team’s scoring attack is the top priority, talking with two respected coaches like these two isn’t a bad way to get started.

With how inefficient Carolina’s offenses have been over the past few seasons, hearing from two former coaches who have a vast amount of time competing in the postseason will provide plenty of insight, giving Tepper a strong idea of exactly what he’s seeking for his franchise’s next leader.

Related: Ranking best potential NFL head coach openings in 2023