Source: Carolina Panthers to hire Ben McAdoo as offensive coordinator

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule was looking for an offensive coordinator with NFL experience, and he is getting that with former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo.

McAdoo will be named to his new position once contract details are worked out, a league source told ESPN on Friday. He will replace Joe Brady, who was fired with five games left in the season.


Running backs coach Jeff Nixon finished the season as Carolina's playcaller, but he never was under serious consideration after the Panthers averaged 13.6 points per game under him.

Rhule reportedly talked to eight or nine candidates, some from the college ranks, before settling on McAdoo. Rhule actually considered adding McAdoo to his staff as a senior offensive assistant when he became the Panthers' head coach in 2020.

McAdoo, 44, spent this past season as a consultant for the Dallas Cowboys. He has 16 years of NFL experience, including two (2016-17) as the head coach of the Giants after two as their offensive coordinator under Tom Coughlin, one of Rhule's mentors.

McAdoo also was the quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers (2012-13) and offensive line coach for the San Francisco 49ers (2005). Assisting Rhule in hiring an offensive line coach and rebuilding the offensive line will be one of McAdoo's first priorities.

McAdoo also has experience coaching tight ends, another area needing an upgrade at Carolina. He was the tight ends coach at Green Bay in 2010 when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. That experience in the passing game under Mike McCarthy likely was another factor in his hiring.


McAdoo will take over a Carolina offense that ranked 30th in the NFL this past season with Sam Darnold and Cam Newton as the starting quarterbacks. In his first year as the offensive coordinator in New York, the Giants improved from 28th in 2013 to 13th in 2014.

They jumped to sixth in 2015.

Among those on McAdoo's staff were Sean Ryan (wide receivers) and Kevin Gilbride (tight ends), who are both with the Panthers now. Ryan is the quarterbacks coach, and Gilbride is a defensive analyst but could see his role change.

McAdoo had a big impact on then-Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Manning completed a career-high 63.1% of his passes in his first season under McAdoo, up from 57.5% in 2013. He also had 30 touchdown passes, the second most of his career at the time.

Manning threw for a career-best 35 touchdowns in 2015 and completed 62.6% of his passes.


It's that consistency and improvement Rhule wants with the Panthers -- who ranked 29th in passing yards (190.1 per game) in 2021 -- whether it's with Darnold or a quarterback added in free agency or the draft.

Darnold ranked 29th in the league in passing this past season with 59.9% of his passes completed and nine touchdowns to 13 interceptions.

"The one thing I do want, I'd like to find someone who has experience, having done it," Rhule said after the season. "It's one thing to make suggestions. It's another thing to make the call.

"One thing about these jobs, whether it's being the starting quarterback, being the OC, being a DC, being a head coach, is every year you learn from the good things you did and the bad things you did."
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