Carolina Panthers

Rams head coach Sean McVay on benefits of creating same position Panthers are mulling

The Carolina Panthers have been mulling the creation of a new position on their coaching staff with which Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is very familiar.

Panthers owner David Tepper said in an interview with a small group of reporters earlier this month that he has been discussing the possibility of opening a “game management” role on Carolina’s staff..

At one point during his first season as a head coach in 2017, McVay called a self-inflicted clock management gaffe against Arizona “inexcusable.”

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So McVay created a game management position — which he calls a “senior management consultant” — in Los Angeles last offseason, hiring former UCLA coordinator Jedd Fisch for the role. Fisch specializes in clock management during games

McVay addressed the benefits of having such a position on Tuesday, ahead of the Rams’ appearance in Super Bowl LII this Sunday in Atlanta.

“It was really a way of being so heavily involved in offense, streamlining a process for whether you’re challenging something, what do you do, when do you use those time outs,” he said. “And handling some of the situations that come up at the end of the half, at the end of the game. Specifically in those two-minute (scenarios) is when you really need to rely on somebody.

“I’m not smart enough to be able to process all of that. So to be able to have somebody to lean on has been great. Jedd has done an outstanding job, and that certainly isn’t exclusive to just that.”

McVay then added, laughing, “The time out usage, if somebody wants to follow up on that — that’s on me, not Jedd.”

Game management coaches aren’t a new concept in the league, and every team has at least one assistant coach — often a position assistant — working with the head coach on situational strategy and clock management, like time outs or challenges.

Elsewhere in the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons followed McVay’s trend with the hire of former Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood as their game management coach this offseason, but he left a few days after the hire was announced for a position at Alabama, according to multiple reports.

With Panthers head coach Ron Rivera calling the defensive plays next season, he’ll be just as hands-on as he was to end the 2018 season. He said back then that his assistant coaches also reshuffled a little to make sure the game management duties were being filled.

But should the Panthers consider also bringing in a game management coach?

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Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @JourdanRodrigue

Jourdan has covered the Carolina Panthers as a beat writer since 2016, and froze during Pennsylvania winters as an award-winning Penn State football beat writer before that. A 2014 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, she’s on a never-ending quest for trick plays and the stories that give football fans goosebumps.
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