After weeks of interviewing candidates, the Panthers have reportedly settled on former Giants coach Ben McAdoo as their new offensive coordinator.
McAdoo replaces Joe Brady, who was relieved of his duties last month after less than two years on the job. Prior to hiring McAdoo, Luke Getsy, Mike Groh, Jay Gruden, Pep Hamilton, Tim Kelly, Klint Kubiak and Scottie Montgomery were also granted interviews with Carolina.
McAdoo, who spent last year as a consultant to the Cowboys, was promoted following Tom Coughlin’s resignation in 2016, lasting less than two seasons in East Rutherford before getting the boot in 2017. Though the Giants did reach the playoffs under McAdoo (something neither of their subsequent hires, Pat Shurmur or Joe Judge, were able to accomplish), he was largely dismissed as a punchline, drawing criticism from the national and New York media for how he handled “BoatGate” and the decision that would ultimately cost him his job—benching two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning for Geno Smith. McAdoo was out of the league for two years before resurfacing as Jacksonville’s quarterbacks coach in 2020. However, McAdoo, along with the rest of Doug Marrone’s staff, were let go after that season.
Despite his experience, working for six organizations (Saints, 49ers, Packers, Giants, Jaguars and Cowboys) across 16 NFL seasons, McAdoo represents an uninspiring hire for a team that should be aiming higher, particularly with coach Matt Rhule rumored to be on the hot seat. Carolina’s offense struggled mightily throughout 2021 with opponents outscoring the Panthers 211-99 over their season-ending seven-game losing streak.
Playing most of the season without Christian McCaffrey probably didn’t help, though that doesn’t excuse the play of quarterbacks Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, who combined for 18 interceptions against just 13 touchdown passes. With neither proving worthy of franchise status, look for the Panthers to be among the more aggressive teams in pursuing a quarterback this offseason with Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Jimmy Garoppolo all thought to be available at the right price.