Carolina Panthers

Panthers announce coaching changes, including newly-defined role for one assistant

Carolina Panthers defensive line coach Sam Mills III, left, will have added “game management” responsibilities in 2019.
Carolina Panthers defensive line coach Sam Mills III, left, will have added “game management” responsibilities in 2019.

The Carolina Panthers have made three assistant coaching changes, including the official addition of a new role for one assistant coach.

Former Panthers linebacker Everette Brown will be the team’s new assistant linebackers coach, assisting second-year linebackers coach Steve Russ.

Brown, a Wilson, N.C. native and former second-round pick, played the first two of his six NFL seasons in Carolina (2009-10). He also was a coaching intern for the Panthers in 2018, as a part of the Bill Walsh minority coaching internship program.

Former linebacker Ben Jacobs, released by the team this week, has been hired as assistant special teams coach in replacement of Heath Farwell, who took a special teams coordinator position in Buffalo last month.

Jacobs was a special teams ace for the Panthers for six of his eight NFL seasons, and was in a player-coach role in 2018 under first-year coordinator Chase Blackburn.

And defensive line coach Sam Mills III has added “game management” coaching responsibilities to his role with the Panthers ahead of the 2019 season.

The Panthers have always had assistant coaches help with game management duties, but with head coach Ron Rivera calling defensive plays full-time in 2019, the team discussed the creation of an official game management position.

Other teams, like the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams, have added the position in recent years, hiring external candidates for the role.

Last month, Panthers owner David Tepper said he and the coaching staff were considering adding such a role in Carolina.

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Mills will assist Rivera with clock management, replay challenges and other situational football analysis, according to a team release.

“Sam sees the game from a different perspective,” Rivera said. “He’s very interested in how the league operates, how the game operates. By that I mean he’s a guy that pays attention to the rules, he pays attention to replay and he understands time management and score management.”

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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