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The filling of the last remaining NFL head-coaching vacancy Thursday — the Buccaneers' hiring of Greg Schiano — was welcomed news for the Panthers. They had been closely monitoring the Bucs' exhaustive search, which included an interview with Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.
Head coach Ron Rivera told PFW earlier this month that Carolina would "still have the same players and pretty much the same scheme" next season no matter what happened with Chudzinski, but Rivera admitted during his time in Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl that the Panthers had been putting off some of their offseason work until they had clarity on Chudzinski's future.
It appears he will be staying put after also interviewing for the Rams' and Jaguars' jobs, although there will be plenty of speculation about his future again next season if the Panthers' offense continues to soar.
Chudzinski has become one of the league's high-profile assistants because of his work with Cam Newton and the dramatic improvement in Carolina's offense last season, but he has been a coordinator at the pro level for only three seasons and never has been a head coach at any level. The Bucs, Rams and Jaguars all hired someone with head-coaching experience.