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ESPN report suggests why Panthers passed on hiring Bill Belichick

So, why weren’t the Carolina Panthers too interested in hiring the greatest head coach in the history of the game? A deep dive into Bill Belichick’s offseason may have just suggested why.

On Wednesday morning, ESPN published a report about the six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach and his “failed” job hunt following the 2023 season. Some legwork done by Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham and Jeremy Fowler resulted in the following tidbit about the Panthers:

The Carolina Panthers briefly discussed Belichick, before he signed his two-year extension with New England a year ago. But this offseason, Carolina decided to pass, a source said. Panthers owner David Tepper often sifts through data to critique his coach’s playcalling. That, according to a source, “is tough to do with Belichick as the figurehead.” The Panthers opted for 42-year-old former Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Dave Canales.

When you have the kind of résumé that Belichick has, power often follows. That was the case with the Patriots, who also positioned him as the team’s de facto general manager over his 24-year tenure.

If Tepper is as hands-on as this reporting hints at, that influence could’ve posed a problem for the dynamic atop the organization. Following Frank Reich’s introductory press conference last January, the billionaire owner had admitted that hiring a “CEO-type” in Matt Rhule—Tepper’s very first choice—was a mistake on his part.

Instead of going down a similar route, the Panthers are rocking with first-year head coach Dave Canales.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire