When the regular season ends next week, NFL teams that are not participating in the postseason will begin actively searching/hiring new head coaches. They will speak with former coaches, college coaches, and current coaches in the league, which includes coaches that may or may not be on playoff teams. For the Carolina Panthers, who have a new owner in David Tepper, they will be searching for their first HC in the post-Ron Rivera era. And according to one NFL reporter, the Panthers may try to dip into the New England Patriots' coaching staff and front office during their search.
According to the MMQB's Albert Breer, Tepper, who will play a large role in who is hired as the next head coach of the Panthers, may try to hire Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. They may also try to go after New England's pro director, Dave Ziegler, as well.
"Tepper could tap into the Patriots’ pipeline, so keep an eye out for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels; McDaniels could perhaps pursue New England pro director Dave Ziegler to fill the assistant GM role/become assumed successor to GM Marty Hurney," Breer wrote in his Friday morning column. "But McDaniels will have to win the job, and I know that Tepper would be respectful to the Krafts by not hiring away too many of their people. One thing that could appeal about the Carolina job to McDaniels? I’m told the coach will have considerable say over the football operation, in areas like strength-and-conditioning, training and video. The average fan doesn’t pay much attention to that, but coaches do care about it.
"And as for Tepper being respectful to the Krafts, it’s certainly possible the Patriots work to hang on to Ziegler. Both director of player personnel Nick Caserio and director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort are on contracts expiring in May. That makes Ziegler the only guy on that level in scouting signed into next season. And if there is a scouting exodus, similar to last offseason coaching exodus? Well, Bill Belichick confidant Scott Pioli, a key cog in building the original iteration of the dynasty, is available."
In a worst case scenario, the Patriots could lose McDaniels, Caserio, Ossenfort, and Ziegler next offseason. Those are three big roles in the front office and one big role on the coaching staff that would needed to be filled in some shape or form. It may also be too many holes to fill, which could impact how the organization performs in the near future.
Based on what we know up until this point in the season, it seems more likely that two of the four aforementioned Patriots personnel will stay in New England in 2020. Worrying about which of them will be gone next season won't do any good right now. But be prepared to hear their names mentioned over the next month when the head coach search ramps up in the NFL.