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Report: Panthers’ diverse hires partially motivated by compensation rules

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has helped build one of the most impressive and diverse coaching staffs in the NFL. But his intentions seemingly go far beyond the upcoming 2023 campaign.

In the latest set of his “Ten Takeaways,” MMQB senior NFL reporter Albert Breer highlighted Carolina’s journey in assembling its new braintrust—which happens to be the only one in the league to feature a Black offensive coordinator and a Black defensive coordinator. Breer notes that Tepper not only wanted to promote diversity on the sidelines, but was also motivated by the NFL’s compensation rules regarding the advancement of minority coaches—with the San Francisco 49ers as the model.

“Tepper, I’m told, took note of that,” Breer writes. “And it was a motivator—in addition to helping the cause of Black coaches—to focus the hiring of Reich’s staff, particularly at the higher levels of it, to diverse candidates with upward mobility. So after the Reich hire, Carolina zeroed in on Denver defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who was right there with Vic Fangio as the most sought-after prospective DC league-wide, and Eagles QBs coach Brian Johnson for coordinator jobs.

“They landed Evero, couldn’t quite get Johnson (who’s in line to be promoted to offensive coordinator in Philly) but wound up with well-regarded Rams assistant head coach Thomas Brown as OC instead. And, of course, the first reason to write big checks to get those guys is the belief that they’ll be first-class lieutenants for Reich, the way Nick Sirianni and Matt Eberflus were for him in Indianapolis.”

Since 2020, the 49ers have been rewarded with eight third-round compensatory picks after having their minority coaches or executives hired off by other teams for larger roles. So while San Francisco has seen Martin Mayhew, Robert Saleh, Mike McDaniel, Ran Carthon and DeMeco Ryans all move up in the ranks elsewhere—they’ve received quite a bit of payoff as a result.

As for the Panthers, Evero and Brown—who also interviewed for head-coaching jobs this winter—aren’t the only candidates who could advance with another organization in the near future. Assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley is another name to keep an eye on heading into 2024.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire