The Alabama Crimson Tide is adding a well-known name to its coaching staff, former Carolina Panthers quarterback Chris Weinke. The former Heisman Trophy winner will join head coach Nick Saban’s staff as an offensive analyst, 247Sports.com reported Wednesday.
Weinke, 44, won the Heisman as a 28-year-old senior, the oldest player to ever win the award, at Florida State in 2000. Weinke threw for more than 4,000 yards for the Seminoles, who lost a 13-2 defensive battle to Oklahoma in the 2001 BCS National Championship game.
The Carolina Panthers drafted Weinke with a 2001 fourth-round pick in 2001. Pressed into starting duty as a rookie, Weinke and the Panthers, then under coach George Siefert, opened the regular season with a win but then lost 15 straight. The 1-15 record led to Seifert’s firing but allowed Carolina to draft Julius Peppers with the No. overall pick in 2002.
Weinke spent five more years with the Panthers as a backup, with his highlight being a Dec. 10, 2006 loss to the Giants in which he made his first start since 2001 in place of the injured Jake Delhomme. Weinke threw for 423 yards, setting a team single-game passing record that stood for five years. He started the final two games of that season, then signed with San Francisco. He played one season for the 49ers, with one start, the final game of his NFL career, a loss to Cleveland.
Weinke has been the quarterbacks coach for the Los Angeles Rams for the past two seasons. He was also Director of Football at IMG Academy, where he has worked with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Alabama running back Bo Scarbough.
Alabama opens the 2017 season at Weinke’s alma mater, Florida State on September 2.
Mike Reader - @mreader