The Carolina Panthers interviewed a Gruden for a job last weekend, and now they’ve brought in another name with even more history.
The Panthers have interviewed former Alabama head coach and NFL assistant Mike Shula for one of the vacancies on their offensive staff, according to league source.
Shula’s father Don is the winningest coach in NFL history, but Mike could bring some valuable experience to an offensive staff that’s in need of some.
Mike Shula’s been the quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville the past four seasons, but has also worked with tight ends and as a coordinator in his 23 seasons as a coach. Of that total, 19 years were as an NFL assistant, with four seasons as head coach of the Crimson Tide.
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The 45-year-old coach has spent his life around the game, born in Baltimore when his father was coaching the Colts, and growing up in Miami while his dad was leading the Dolphins to a pair of Super Bowl titles and the only perfect season in league history.
He was Tony Dungy’s first offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay, and has also worked for the Dolphins and Chicago Bears in addition to his time with the Jaguars.
Mike Shula was a three-year starter at quarterback at Alabama (going 32-15-1 from 1984 to 1986), and compiled a 26-23 record as their head coach before being fired after the 2006 season. He committed the unpardonable sin of not beating Auburn during his stint as head coach, but was only a year removed from a 10-2 season and a contract extension when he was fired.
He then interviewed for the Miami Dolphins job which went to Cam Cameron, a job which new Panthers head coach Ron Rivera interviewed for as well.
Perhaps hoping some family ties brought success, the Panthers interviewed Jay Gruden (younger brother of former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach Jon) for the offensive coordinator post given to Rob Chudzinski this week.
The Panthers have yet to hire any coaches on the offensive side of the ball other than Chudzinski.
The Baltimore Sun reported that the Panthers would interviewed just-fired Ravens offensive line coach John Matsko for the same job here. Matsko has 19 years in the NFL among his 37 years coaching, and was the line coach in St. Louis during the Rams record-breaking run under Dick Vermeil.
-- Darin Gantt