Carolina Panthers

January 21, 2009

Panthers lose more coaches

The Panthers lost their second assistant coach in as many days and their third of the offseason Tuesday.

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers lost their second assistant coach in as many days and their third of the offseason Tuesday.

Linebackers coach Ken Flajole left to become defensive coordinator in St. Louis under new coach Steve Spagnuolo, following the lead of Mike McCoy, the former quarterbacks coach who left to become Denver's offensive coordinator.

On Monday, defensive line coach Sal Sunseri left to accept a job at Alabama, which will be announced today.

Flajole, 54, joined the Panthers in 2003, after previously working in Seattle under Mike Holmgren. He's been friends with Spagnuolo for some time, though they haven't worked together.

The Panthers are in the final stages of putting together their staff, though they're not ready to announce any changes.

After talking about one-year extensions earlier with the staff -- all of whose contracts expired this year -- they've come back with two-year offers to the rest of them. That's not the security some jobs offer. With the league looking at a potential work stoppage in 2011 without a new collective bargaining agreement with the union, the Panthers aren't prepared to be on the hook for coaching salaries in the event there is no football.

Whether they retain the rest of the staff remains to be seen, though multiple sources said they've offered deals to the rest of them.

EXTRA POINT: Offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges was scheduled to be arraigned on misdemeanor assault charges Tuesday, but the local snowstorm closed courts. His attorney, George Laughrun, said the appearance would likely be postponed for four weeks or so.

Bridges was arrested Dec. 7, following a champagne-spraying incident at a south Charlotte nightspot. He was charged with two counts of simple assault and one count of communicating threats.

The Panthers deactivated him for their game against Tampa Bay the following night, but there was no other punishment. He was also arrested in July 2007 and eventually pleaded guilty to assault by pointing a gun after an incident outside a strip club the night before training camp opened.

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