Between their searches for a head coach and a defensive coordinator, the Carolina Panthers have thrown a lot of names our way over the past few weeks. And one of those names, which may be a familiar one to some, is New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Kris Richard.
Richard has built a long and decorated résumé in the league, having been on the sidelines for 13 seasons now. The former cornerback started his NFL coaching career where he started his on-field one—with the Seattle Seahawks.
Under Pete Carroll, Richard played an integral part in developing the famous “Legion of Boom,” a daunted secondary that rostered the likes of Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor. Only one of those players, Thomas, was considered an elite prospect coming out of college—so to get the most out of the diamonds in the rough spoke volumes.
In 2015, Richard was promoted to the defensive coordinator role for the Seahawks following the departure of Dan Quinn to Atlanta. He’d see immediate success, as his unit allowed the fewest points in the league that season. He stayed in that role until the end of 2017 and never ranked worse than 13th in points allowed during his tenure.
Richard then landed in Dallas as a defense backs coach, where he was key in developing multiple players in that secondary and even garnered some chatter for head-coaching vacancies in 2019. He moved into his role with New Orleans in 2021.
A hiring of Richard would bring a respected and experienced coach who has had a ton of success in the role prior. He could help in the development of young cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and CJ Henderson, and would certainly bolster an already stout defense going into the 2023 season.