The Charlotte Observer
Posted with permission from Tribune Content Agency

The Carolina Panthers have fired offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.

Shula spent seven seasons in Carolina, and was the team's offensive coordinator since 2013.

Dorsey has been the Panthers' quarterbacks coach since 2013.

A source close to the situation said that the decision, while discussed at length between head coach Ron Rivera and interim general manager Marty Hurney, was ultimately Rivera's to make. The source also said to expect a "veteran hire" for the vacancy.

The Panthers finished the regular season 11-5 before falling to New Orleans in Sunday's wild-card game, ending the year with the league's No. 19 total offense.

Rivera then told reporters on Monday that he did not expect staff changes (other than the assumption that defensive coordinator Steve Wilks will get a head-coaching job after his interviews with the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals this week).

A source said Rivera did not want to make an emotional decision immediately following the loss.

Under Shula, Carolina's offensive production was inconsistent year over year despite continuity at the quarterback position with Cam Newton.

Carolina finished the 2013 season ranked No. 26 in the NFL in total offense, No. 16 in 2014, No. 11 in 2015 (the year of the Panthers' Super Bowl run), and No. 19 in 2016 when the team went 6-10, averaging 343.7 yards per game.

But even with dynamic pieces added, like No. 8 overall draft pick Christian McCaffrey, Shula's offense averaged only 323.7 yards per game in 2017 and fluctuated between productive and stagnant from week to week.

Wilks interviewed with the Giants Tuesday and will interview with the Cardinals on Wednesday pending a deal getting done with New York — and its general manager, former Carolina GM Dave Gettleman.

If Wilks leaves Carolina, a natural replacement could be defensive line coach Eric Washington.