Calling It: The Head Coaching Possibilities for the Carolina Panthers – Greg Roman

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Photo credit: Phil Hoffman - Baltimore Ravens

Given the dynamically different offense the Ravens have imposed upon the NFL this season, it’s surprising that their offensive coordinator Greg Roman isn’t getting more heat as a coaching candidate. Perhaps the league learned its lesson from Sean McVay, who was such the flavor of the month that anyone with a connection to him found themselves highly sought after, but who came back to Earth when the New England Patriots cooled off his hot offense in Super Bowl LIII.

Maybe other teams feel that they don’t have a quarterback who can match Lamar Jackson’s singular talents. Jackson’s maneuverability has proven hard to contain this season, although the success of the Ravens’ offense is helped by a strong blocking offensive line and three tight ends who are capable catchers. If the reason for Roman’s limited heat index is a concern about having a quarterback that can match Jackson’s gifts, then that places the Panthers in an interesting and advantageous position.

Prior to Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton had been arguably the most dynamic quarterback since Michael Vick, although Newton is notably larger than either Jackson or Vick, presenting a different challenge for defenses. Roman could develop a very potent offense with Newton and running back Christian McCaffrey. Just as Mark Ingram has provided a power back complement to the more nimble Jackson, so the shifty McCaffrey provide a yin to Newton’s yang.

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Roman developed the dynamic offense the Ravens have shown this season after Jackson proved to be a limited passer in 2018 and previous offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg retired. To build an offense similar to what he had in Baltimore, Roman would likely have to invest draft or free agency capital in the offensive line and especially the tight ends. The latter position in particular will likely look thinner as it appears stalwart Greg Olsen will not be back next season.

Roman has broad experience in the NFL, including serving as offensive coordinator for the San Francisco Forty-Niners and the Buffalo Bills prior to joining the Ravens. Although he has not been a head coach, he was listed as the assistant head coach at Baltimore last season, in addition to being the tight ends coach. He has some familiarity with Carolina, as he started his coaching career as an unpaid strength and conditioning coach before serving as the Panthers’ offensive line coach from 1995 to 2001.

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