Innovative, experienced, successful, and available, those are the traits the Carolina Panthers must seek when searching for a new offensive coordinator.
Last week was very good to head coach Ron Rivera. First, he was gifted a third season by owner Jerry Richardson, and then like an upper class child of the suburbs, he got a second equally large present. Rob Chudzinski, an inconsistent play-caller with a penchant for ignoring his most gifted players, who directed Carolina's offense to back-to-back 2-8 starts was named the Browns head coach.
While a group of fired NFL coaches are among those being considered to run the Carolina offense, it is a guy yapping on the radio that is best suited to taking Cam Newton and the Panther offense to the next level.
Since leaving his job as running back's coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2011 season Steve Logan has worked in media. In much the same way he coached, Logan is different. He is bold, opinionated, and entertaining. Once described as the curious pirate for his unpredictable, unconventional, and surprisingly successful tenure at East Carolina, Logan has won consistently with players other teams did not want.
At ECU Logan beat Miami twice, and upset North Carolina State, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Greenville, SC, is not exactly west Texas when it comes to recruiting. Logan found diamonds in the rough in future NFL signal callers Jeff Blake and David Garrard. He then utilized their skill sets in an unpredictable and highly tailored attack that helped the Pirates to five bowl games in a decade at the helm. When Logan departed East Carolina he continued his winning ways in football hot beds Berlin and Rhein.
In three seasons as a quarterback's coach in NFL Europe, Logan reached the World Bowl twice and helped Dave Ragone and Rohan Davey to league MVP honors. Returning to the college game, he mentored Matt Ryan's breakout season with Boston College as Jeff Jagodzinski's offensive coordinator. Ryan's first three years at BC produced 25 touchdowns and 4,806 passing yards. In his Senior season under Logan he threw for 31 scores and 4,507 yards.
Logan worked as an assistant under Jimmy Johnson, John Cooper, and Bill McCartney. He has tutored NFL quarterbacks with distinctly different skill sets and helped each of them improve. He is not conventional, and in a league where innovation is vital especially with a talent like Cam Newton, Logan is the perfect fit.
Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk indicated on Friday that former Panther G.M. Marty Hurney did not want Chudzinski but Rivera insisted on him. When Carolina began the year 1-5 Hurney was fired. Dave Gettleman has been hired to replace Hurney and he inherited Rivera. If Rivera wants to keep his job Carolina better make the playoffs and soon. Getting the most out of Newton and a talented group of running back's is the easiest way of improving quickly. Steve Logan is an offensive savant. No other interviews are needed. Hire Logan and let the fan base dream of trick plays, efficient scoring, and an explosive offense like the Panthers have never had.