CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It's clear from the way the Carolina Panthers have stacked interviews for head coach, they are leaning toward an offensive mind.
Interim coach Steve Wilks, who interviewed Tuesday, is the only one among the known candidates so far in the search that has a defensive background.
Wilks, a Charlotte native, led the Panthers to a 6-6 record in 12 games.
On Wednesday, Carolina interviewed former Colts coach Frank Reich, who was fired by Indianapolis in the middle of the 2022 season.
Despite his ouster, Reich is still considered a top candidate during this coaching cycle.
His record in five seasons with the Colts was 40-33, with two playoff appearances.
Reich's tenure could have looked different if not for the surprise retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck after 2018.
After that, Reich went 30-27 with a combination of Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan at the position.
Prior to his stint as Colts head coach, Reich served as offensive coordinator for both the Eagles and Chargers, helping Philadelphia to its first-ever Super Bowl championship.
Reich, 61, was the Panthers first starting quarterback, playing the first three games of the 1995 season for the expansion team.
His brother, Joe, is the longtime football coach at Wingate University.
According to a league source, the Panthers have requested to interview the following offensive coordinators:
- Kellen Moore, Cowboys
- Shane Steichen, Eagles
- Ben Johnson, Lions
- Ken Dorsey, Bills
- Mike Kafka, Giants
Coaches employed by other NFL teams cannot be interviewed until after Wild Card weekend (Jan. 14-15).
Carolina's search for a new head coach began with former Colts/Lions head coach Jim Caldwell on Monday.
The team must also interview at least one more external minority candidate in addition to Caldwell to satisfy the league's Rooney Rule.
Previous full-time head coach Matt Rhule was fired five games into his third season with the team.
His final record with the franchise was 11-27.