The Carolina Panthers have officially hired Tony Sparano Jr. as assistant offensive line coach and Sean Ryan as quarterbacks coach. The moves come just in time for this week’s Senior Bowl. Carolina’s staff were selected to coach in Mobile, Alabama.
Sparano replaces assistant lines coach Marcus Satterfield. Satterfield left to be the offensive coordinator at South Carolina. Ryan replaces former quarterbacks coach Jake Peetz. Peetz left for the offensive coordinator position at LSU.
Ryan comes from the Lions where he spent the last two seasons as quarterbacks coach with Matt Stafford. Before that, Ryan spent the two previous years as quarterbacks coach with Deshaun Watson. This hire has sent rumors swirling that Carolina could be a landing spot for Watson or Stafford. Watson is not happy with the front office in Houston and wants out. Over the weekend, Stafford expressed his desire to be traded, looking to end his time with the Lions. The Panthers are looking to improve at the position and may move on from Teddy Bridgewater. Having one of those pro bowlers under center would definitively be an upgrade.
Sparano Jr. comes from Jacksonville where he spent the past four seasons as the Jags assistant offensive line coach. He is the son of the former Raiders and Dolphins head coach.
Of course, there are connections the two have with Carolina. Sparano Jr. was Buffalo’s tight end coach in 2015 and 2016 when current Panthers line coach Pat Meyer was an assistant with the Bills. Ryan was in consideration to join head coach Matt Rhule’s staff last season. The two worked alongside each other with the Giants in 2012.