The Carolina Panthers today did exactly what everyone expected them to do when former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski left the team to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, they promoted quarterbacks coach Mike Shula to the vacated offensive coordinator position. Shula was last an NFL offensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996-1999.
Of course, Shula is the son of Miami Dolphins legendary head coach Don Shula. The younger Shula had two stints with the Dolphins, first under his father as a Coaches Assistant from 1991-1992, then again as the team's quarterbacks coach under Dave Wannstedt from 2000-2002.
Panthers fans are not ecstatic over the promotion of Shula, preferring to see the team land someone like Hue Jackson, who was said to be interested in the job. BW Smith on SB Nation's Cat Scratch Reader writes:
It has been reported that he [Jackson] was indeed interested in taking the position that was vacated when Rob Chudzinski left for greener pastures in Cleveland, but if that's the case then I don't understand why the Panthers would go in a different direction, especially when that direction is to promote someone who isn't as qualified to do the job.
At any rate, we're stuck with Shula for the time being. The most we can hope for is that the offense doesn't fall off a cliff, because if it does the entire coaching staff could be in the unemployment line this time next year.
However, other media outlets seem to think it was the right move. ESPN's Pat Yasinskas explains:
The Panthers interviewed Pat Shurmur and Hue Jackson from the outside. But staying inside was the smartest thing they could have done.Shula knows the Chudzinski offense and isn't likely to stray from it. He also has a good relationship with quarterback Cam Newton, and that might be the most important dynamic, because Newton is the franchise.
For more on the coaching promotion promotion with the Panthers, check out Cat Scratch Reader