The Panthers and Buccaneers are going to be familiar with each other next year – even more so than usual. It's not every day that you see one team's coordinator leave for a head coaching gig in the same division, which makes the NFC South rivalry between Carolina and Tampa Bay all the more interesting heading into former Bucs' OC Dave Canales first year running the show in Charlotte.
But the Bucs-to-Panthers turnover isn't stopping there, as news broke Tuesday that Canales was hiring former Tampa Bay wide receivers coach Brad Idzik to be the Panthers' new offensive coordinator:
It's an impressive gig for Idzik, who's only 32 years old and was in his first season as a wide receivers coach last year. Before that, he was an assistant wide receivers coach with the Seahawks – where he started his professional coaching career – for four years. Before that, he climbed the assistant coach rankings at Stanford. According to ESPN, however, Canales will still be the one calling plays, not Idzik.
With the offensive coordinator in place, the Panthers will presumably now turn to a more interesting dilemma they on the other side of the ball. Typically when teams bring in new head coaches, assistants from the previous staff are given the opportunity to find new jobs. However, the Panthers' current defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evero, is highly-regarded and has been one considered a head-coaching candidate for a couple seasons now. This offseason, he's interviewed for a few head coaching openings (Seattle, Atlanta) but the team has blocked him from interviewing for other defensive coordinator roles – indicating the team may want him back next season and beyond.