Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is scheduled to interview with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday for their head coaching position, according to a person familiar with situation.

What You Need To Know

Former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was set to interview with the Falcons on Wednesday and the Panthers on Thursday for the head coach position, a source said

The Titans made the playoffs three times under Vrabel, who was 54-45 in six seasons, but he was fired after two losing seasons in a row

The Panthers have done a first round of virtual interviews with at least 11 known candidates

That meeting will come after Vrabel interviews with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team has made its interview schedule public.

Vrabel went 54-45 in six seasons with the Titans but was fired after back-to-back losing seasons, including a 6-11 record in 2023 amid a rash of injuries. The Titans made the playoffs three times under Vrabel, going 2-3 in the postseason. Both playoff wins came in 2019. The Titans were competitive under Vrabel, and this past season was the first time they entered the final week of the regular season having been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Panthers and Falcons are among five NFL teams still looking for a new coach, along with the Commanders, Seahawks and Chargers.

This will be Vrabel’s first interview with the Panthers.

The NFL Network reported that the Panthers were conducting second interviews with Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris on Wednesday for the head coaching job. Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero received a second interview earlier this week, according to The Athletic.

Related: Panthers tap former star linebacker Dan Morgan to be general manager

The Panthers are coming off a 2-15 season and don’t have a first-round draft pick in 2024 despite finishing with the worst record in the league.

Canales previously worked with recently promoted Panthers director of football operations and general manager Dan Morgan with the Seattle Seahawks, where he spent 13 seasons (2010-22) in various roles including quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.

The 42-year-old Canales won a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks in the 2013 season.

He spent last season as the Buccaneers offensive coordinator, helping the team reach the divisional round of the NFC playoffs behind quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The 47-year-old Morris has an extensive coaching history, including three seasons (2009-2011) as head coach of the Buccaneers, where he went 17-31. He was 4-7 as the Falcons interim head coach in 2020. Morris has won two Super Bowls as an assistant coach with the Bucs in 2002 and the Rams in 2021, where he served as defensive coordinator.

Evero worked under Morris in 2021 as the Rams secondary coach and passing game coordinator. He spent 2022 as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator.

Morris and Evero have both interviewed with the Falcons.

The Panthers previously conducted a first round of virtual interviews with at least 11 known candidates, including Brian Callahan, who was hired earlier this week by the Titans to replace Vrabel.

The Detroit Lions’ highly sought-after offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was believed to be high on Panthers owner David Tepper’s wish list. But Johnson, who will coach the Lions against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game on Sunday, is considered in high demand around the league.

The Panthers also previously interviewed Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith and Panthers special teams coordinator and interim head coach Chris Tabor.

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