The Carolina Panthers became the first NFL team this cycle to hire a head coach, naming Frank Reich as the full-time replacement for the fired Matt Rhule.

Owner David Tepper and Co. go back to the offensive side of the ball with their latest hire after the failure of the Rhule tenure in Carolina.

With that said, Reich brings a lot more to the table than his counterpart. We’re talking about a former NFL quarterback who has worked under the likes of the legendary Tony Dungy and Doug Pederson in the past.

Reich, 61, got his first head coach job with the Indianapolis Colts back in 2018. He led the team to two playoff appearances in four-plus seasons before being fired nine games into the 2022 campaign.

Reich is seen as a stellar offensive mind dating back to his days leading that unit with the then-San Diego Chargers (2014-15) and Philadelphia Eagles (2016-17).

Coming off another losing season, there’s several things the Carolina Panthers must do in order to regain league-wide relevance. Hiring Reich was a start. But here’s a look at three moves Carolina must make this offseason in order to return to playoff contention.


Carolina Panthers hire Brian Flores as defensive coordinator


With an offensive-minded head coach now in the mix, Carolina turns its attention to finding an experienced individual to run the other side of the ball. Longtime NFL defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is an option. However, he’s been more linked to the Miami Dolphins’ opening.

In this scenario, Carolina adds a highly-respected defensive mind who served as a senior assistant for Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh a season ago. Having received some interest as a head coach this cycle, Flores would make a ton of sense.

He technically called plays for the New England Patriots’ defense under Bill Belichick from 2016-18, leading three consecutive units that finished in the top-seven in points allowed. As the Dolphins’ head coach from 2019-21, Flores improved that defense leaps and bounds from previous seasons.

Carolina has a ton of anchors on defense, including defensive linemen Brian Burns and Derrick Brown as well as defensive backs Jaycee Horn and Jeremy Chinn. This would be a home run hire.