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The college football season has come to an end, and Alabama head coach Nick Saban won his sixth national title. Will he attempt a return to the NFL?
One former head coach won’t rule out Saban as a candidate for a high-profile opening. What’s the reasoning behind the link to the Crimson Tide head coach and a stable job in the pros? Is it a legitimate connection?
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will endure more changes around him. The front office traded away his top wideout in Kelvin Benjamin during the 2017 campaign. Who have the team parted ways with this week and what’s the plan going forward?
In a short period, the Green Bay Packers have found a replacement for ex-defensive coordinator Dom Capers. How should their fans feel about the new hire?
Nick Saban isn’t Interested in Becoming New York Giants Head Coach
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After Monday’s title victory, Saban’s name came up in connection with the New York Giants. Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians appeared on FoxSports1’s Colin Cowherd Show and fed the rumor mill:
Herd w/Colin Cowherd @TheHerd
“It wouldn’t surprise me. There’s a job he covets and it just happens to be open… The Giants.” — @BruceArians on Nick Saban returning to the NFL https://t.co/BWcZl8lrNz
To add context, Arians didn’t provide insider information on Saban’s thoughts but said the prospect of the Alabama coach leaving for the NFL “wouldn’t shock” him.
However, New York Post reporter Paul Schwartz’s source doesn’t see a link between Saban and Big Blue:
Paul Schwartz @NYPost_Schwartz
Source tells The Post Nick Saban is not interested in the Giants head coaching job. https://t.co/hCfWxIKNwp
Saban coached the Miami Dolphins for two seasons. He finished with a 15-17 record and went back to the collegiate level to build a juggernaut in Alabama. After watching freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa lead the Crimson Tide victory on the national championship stage, why would the 66-year-old leave Tuscaloosa?
Aside from accepting a new challenge on another level, it’s not surprising to hear Saban lacks interest in coaching the Giants or any other team on the professional level.
Carolina Panthers Target Norv Turner for Offensive Coordinator Job
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The Panthers fired quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey and Mike Shula, who spent the last five years with the team as an offensive coordinator. He started as a position coach and served as a consistent voice influencing Newton’s development. The organization wants a new direction for the offense and its star signal-caller.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Panthers rank Norv Turner as a high priority to fill the position:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
Sources: The #Panthers are expected to interview Norv Turner for their offensive coordinator position. He’s a top choice to join Ron Rivera’s staff.
As an offensive coordinator, Turner resigned midway through the 2016 season with the Minnesota Vikings. He didn’t return to the sidelines for the 2017 campaign. Now, as a top candidate for the Panthers job, he could inherit an offense stocked with two capable running backs and a quarterback that can perform on an MVP level in a suitable system.
Turner’s one-year coordinator stint with the Cleveland Browns in 2013 and his three seasons with the Vikings fell short of expectations. Those units never ranked higher than 16th in total yards or points scored. Nonetheless, he’d have significantly more talent in Carolina if hired for the position.
Green Bay Packers Set to Hire Mike Pettine for Defensive Coordinator Job
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The Packers decided to fire Capers after nine seasons. The defense hasn’t finished top 10 in yards or points allowed since the 2010 campaign. Now the club is looking for a fresh pair eyes to elevate the group.
After spending two years idle, Mike Pettine will become the Packers defensive coordinator, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Packers now preparing to hire former Browns’ HC Mike Pettine as their defensive coordinator, per league source.
Pettine served two seasons as the Browns head coach before taking some time away from the sidelines. He fielded top-10 defenses in yards allowed in every campaign as a defensive coordinator—four with the New York Jets and one with the Buffalo Bills.
Back in an assistant role, Pettine may shift his focus to improving a front seven that struggled to pressure the quarterback and a pass defense that surrendered 30 scores through the air. Of course, the front office will need to add playmakers through free agency and the draft to bolster the personnel.