Carolina Panthers: 5 Dream replacements for Ron Rivera as head coach

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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2. Dabo Swinney

Current Role: Clemson Tigers head coach

Dabo Swinney very much feels like a college football lifer. He’s very much not regarded as a genius mind in terms of his play-calling and schematics. However, he’s very much a locker room leader and motivator, which is more ideally suited for the college game. But while that may be true, his unbridled success at Clemson and his proximity to Charlotte make him a dream candidate.

In the idealistic world where the Panthers could land Swinney, the key would undoubtedly be surrounding him with a proper coaching staff. Poaching a great offensive coordinator from somewhere and perhaps bringing Brent Venables with him from Clemson to head up the defense might be a great way to do that. In any regard, though, the hype around Swinney’s foray to the NFL and staying in the Carolinas would reach a fever pitch immediately.

1. Josh McDaniels

Current Role: Patriots offensive coordinator

Expecting the Carolina Panthers or any NFL team to lure Josh McDaniels away from the New England Patriots at this point feels like pie-in-the-sky thinking. It would be shocking if there wasn’t a closed-door handshake already made in the depths of Gillette Stadium that McDaniels will take over for Bill Belichick when he finally hangs up the hoodie.

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But if we’re talking about dream targets, McDaniels has to be at the top of the list. While some will point to his pedestrian tenure in Denver, he’s grown as a coach and offensive mind since then. And make no mistake, the man is an offensive genius. As the Panthers may move in a new direction at quarterback and building around McCaffrey, McDaniels would be the perfect man to head up the architecture being put in place.