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Odds to Be Panthers Next Head Coach After Rivera Fired: 49ers DC Robert Saleh Favored

49ers Robert Saleh
Online sportsbooks have established San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh as the +500 favorite to be the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Photo By @johns_tailgate.
  • San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is the +500 favorite to be the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers
  • The Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday
  • All four previous Panthers head coaches worked as NFL defensive coordinators prior to being hired by Carolina

Is Robert Saleh about to come to the defense of the Carolina Panthers? Oddsmakers certainly think that will be the case. History suggests that they may be on the right track.

Wednesday, online sportsbooks released odds regarding who will be the next head coach of the Panthers, and Saleh, defensive coordinator for the 10-2 San Francisco 49ers, was listed as the +500 favorite.

Odds to Coach the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, 2020

Coach Odds
Robert Saleh +500
Jason Garrett +550
Dan Quinn +600
Jim Harbaugh +650
Josh McDaniels +800
Greg Roman +900
Urban Meyer +900
Mike McCarthy +1200
Jay Gruden +1400
Doug Marrone +1600
Mike LaFleur +1600
Marvin Lewis +1800
Pat Shurmur +1800
Doug Pederson +2000
Bill Cowher +10000

Odds taken Dec. 4.

Rivera was the fourth head coach in Panthers history. He was also the fourth who’d previously served as defensive coordinator for an NFL team. Three of them filled that role immediately prior to being hired by Carolina.

Saleh Fits the Mold

Traditionally, the Panthers have always leaned toward the defensive side of the football when hiring a new head coach.

Rivera was defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers prior to getting the Panthers job.

George Seifert, like Saleh, served as DC of the 49ers. John Fox was DC of the New York Gaints. Dom Capers, the first coach in franchise history, was DC of the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was hired by the Panthers in 1995.

Defensive help would certainly appear to be in order for the Panthers. Carolina rates 22nd overall in the NFL in total defense, allowing 366.7 yards per game. The Panthers are 26th in the league in scoring defense (26.7 points per game).

Carolina is 27th at stopping the run (137.6 ypg). They’ve allowed an NFL-high 22 rushing touchdowns. That’s already a new franchise-worst for rushing TDs allowed in a single season.

Do They Know Something?

One-third of the coaches on the list to get the Carolina job are currently serving as head coaches of other NFL teams. This group includes Jason Garrett  (+550) of the Dallas Cowboys, and Dan Quinn (+600) of the Atlanta Falcons, strangely enough this week’s opposition for the Panthers in their first game since firing Rivera.

Also given a line in this betting market are Doug Marrone of the Jacksonville Jaguars (+1600), Pat Shurmur of the Giants (+1800) and Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles (+2000).

Seifert is the only head coach the Panthers ever hired who was previously an NFL head coach. But he was three years removed from serving as head coach of the 49ers when he was hired by the Panthers in 1999.

What About Cam?

The Panthers must make a decision as to whether they intend to go forward with former NFL MVP Cam Newton as their quarterback. Newton is out for the season and will undergo foot surgery.

Carolina could cut Newton and save $19 million in salary cap but that would most certainly make the Panthers a less attractive destination for a new coach.

Will Tepper Change Panthers Blueprint?

The one caveat amidst of all these past trends when it comes to Carolina and the team’s coaching hires is that there is an X-factor at work here. This will be the first hire under the ownership of David Tepper, who purchased the Panthers franchise last year.

Reading between the lines during Tepper’s Tuesday presser, it seems unlikely that he’s interested in a college coach. Tepper also insisted the team wanted to focus more on modern trends in coaching hires. That could mean that everyone is looking at the wrong unit to find the next Carolina coach.

Today’s NFL is skewed toward offense. Offensive coordinators tend to be more popular hires among first-time head coaches. That could make Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman the guy.

Baltimore is the NFL’s best team, with the league’s #2 offense and #1 scoring offense. Roman is mastermind of the Ravens offensive gameplan.

Roman might not fit the traditional Panthers mold but he fits the current NFL trend to a tee.

Pick: Greg Roman (+900)

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