The Carolina Panthers turn-around in 2013 has been incredible to watch, and it’s obvious that they are one of the best-coached teams in the NFL right now. Ron Rivera has done a great job of leading a disciplined pack, and the Panthers are getting the most mileage out of a roster that was trimmed in the offseason due to salary cap concerns. Mike Shula and the Panthers have helped Cam Newton become a better quarterback by making the offense easier for him, and it’s paid off huge dividends.
But maybe the most important coach to the Panthers success is defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, who is being widely hailed as a defensive genius for leading the Panthers to their playoff bye this year. The Panthers defense is one of the best in the NFL, and they play with an incredible amount of gap discipline. McDermott’s blitz packages put pressure on the quarterback without being overly exotic or hurting the secondary, which is a lot more than I can say for the blitz packages from the likes of Dom Capers. Although McDermott was always a solid DC (even when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles), he’s taken things to a whole new level with the Panthers defense, and they have overcome some significant losses in the defensive backfield as well.
It was about time that we would hear news of a team with a head coaching vacancy showing interest in McDermott, and the Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person reports that the Washington Redskins will interview him this weekend in order to try and fill their head coaching vacancy. You can add McDermott to the list of people the Redskins will interview, which includes Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Redskins would be getting a great hire if they choose to bring McDermott aboard, because their defense is in shambles. While they really need a strong offensive coordinator who can coach up Robert Griffin III if they hire a defensive-minded coach, it is well-worth it and might be the best approach, given how awful and undisciplined the Redskins defense is. McDermott will be able to assemble a good staff in D.C., because, based on what he’s done in Carolina, it’s clear that he knows how to surround himself with able assistants.
Panthers fans everywhere are groaning at the thought of potentially losing McDermott, but I guess a small part of them will feel happy for McDermott for getting a head coaching gig. However, he might be better off staying in Carolina, because working under Dan Snyder isn’t the best gig around.