AP source: Panthers add Ryans, Mayo to coach candidate list

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have requested permission to interview San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, according to a person familiar with the situation. That brings the number of known candidates for the team’s head coaching vacancy to 10.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the team does not make its coaching search public.

The Panthers already have interviewed interim coach Steve Wilks, former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich and former Detroit Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell for the position.

In addition, the Panthers have requested interviews with five current NFL offensive coordinators — Philadelphia’s Shane Steichen, Buffalo’s Ken Dorsey, Dallas’ Kellen Moore, Detroit’s Ben Johnson and the New York Giants’ Mike Kafka, a person familiar with the situation previously told the AP.

Ryans led the NFL’s top-ranked defense this season, with the 49ers allowing a league-best 300.6 yards and 16.3 points per game. Ryans, an All-Pro linebacker in 2007, has spent the last six seasons with the 49ers, including the last two as defensive coordinator.

Mayo coaches Matthew Judon, one of the game’s top linebackers, who has 28 sacks over the past two seasons for the league’s eighth-ranked defense.

The Panthers finished 7-10 this season and have missed the playoffs in each of the last five seasons.


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