Carolina Panthers expected to target Jay Gruden, Bill O’Brien in offensive coordinator search, sources say


The Carolina Panthers are expected to target former NFL head coaches Jay Gruden and Bill O’Brien in their search for a new offensive coordinator, league sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Panthers also are expected to be interested in talking with Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell about their vacancy at the position, sources tell Schefter.

Carolina enters Sunday’s season finale ranked 30th in the NFL in total offense and 29th in scoring. Senior assistant Jeff Nixon has served as the Panthers’ interim offensive coordinator since Joe Brady was fired last month.

Sources previously told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that the Panthers plan to keep Matt Rhule as their head coach for 2022 and will begin their search for a new offensive coordinator this coming week.

Gruden, the younger brother of former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, was the head coach of the Washington Football Team for six seasons from 2014-2019 and spent last season as the offensive coordinator for the Jaguars. He also was the Bengals‘ offensive coordinator for three seasons before being hired by Washington.

O’Brien currently is working as the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama, which faces Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday night.

Also reportedly a candidate for the Jaguars’ head coaching vacancy, O’Brien spent parts of six seasons as the head coach of the Texans from 2014-2020.

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