The Carolina Panthers have hired Ejiro Evero as the defensive coordinator for Frank Reich’s staff, but the team has one major hurdle still ahead.
Despite not being the only team interested in his services, the Carolina Panthers were able to strike a deal with Ejiro Evero to be the defensive coordinator on Frank Reich’s staff on Sunday.
Evero, who was the Broncos defensive coordinator for the 2022 season and helped guide Denver to having the seventh-best defense in the league last year, was highly coveted in the coaching market. He interviewed for multiple head coaching positions and was sought-after by the Vikings as a defensive coordinator as well, but ultimately opted to land with the Panthers.
With the latest addition, the Panthers have to be considered a big winner of the coaching carousel this offseason. Reich has proven to be capable of maximizing offensive talent, despite the bad situation that led to him being ousted in Indianapolis, and Evero is a rising star that will coach a young, talent-laden defense featuring Brian Burns, Jaycee Horn and more.
It’s a great start for Carolina to help get back to contending in a now-wide-open NFC South. However, there is one piece of the puzzle missing.
Panthers have won in coaching search: Now let’s find a QB
Since David Tepper bought the Panthers, it’s seemed like one of his primary missions has been to find a franchise quarterback in Carolina. To this point, though, he’s been unsuccessful.
Whether it was the failed (and perhaps misguided) pursuit of a Deshaun Watson trade, rolls of the dice on Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, or whatever else, Carolina doesn’t have a long-term answer at quarterback. However, this offseason offers plenty of opportunities to upgrade at quarterback.
The Panthers are not a likely destination for someone like Aaron Rodgers, who will essentially dictate where he lands next. They could possibly be in play for Lamar Jackson, but they also don’t appear to be the frontrunners there. However, guys like Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr should be available for trade or in free agency as well. And on top of that, Carolina also has the No. 9 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
What’s clear is that this organization has put an extremely strong coaching staff in place after the Evero hire, one that could make a big impact on the future. But unless they find the answer at quarterback, they are going to have a limited ceiling despite the good work they’ve done.