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Carolina Panthers Hire Mike Shula

Mike Shula found a new coaching job today as he was hired by the Carolina Panthers as their next quarterbacks coach, where he will have the unenviable task of making a legitimate NFL quarterback out of Jimmy Clausen. Per the Charlotte Observer:

Friday, the Panthers agreed to a deal - which is not yet signed - with former Jacksonville quarterbacks coach Mike Shula for the same job.

"Mike possesses a great knowledge of the quarterback position, having both played there as well as coaching it," Rivera said in the release. "He has worked with a wide variety of quarterbacks during his career and will be a strong addition to our coaching staff."

Shula has done some quality work in the NFL as a quarterbacks coach since he left Alabama, but the takeaway point here I think should be that he is still a quarterbacks coach a full four years after being fired by Mal Moore. When he came to Alabama he was basically a young coach whose career had sputtered and stalled after an unsuccessful stint as an offensive coordinator, and seven years later he seems to be settling in as a career position coach. At this point, there is no reasonable expectation for a head coaching position or even an offensive coordinator position in the near-to-intermediate future.

And the same basic description fits Sylvester Croom, too. Like Shula, he followed up an unsuccessful stint as an offensive coordinator by returning to his old job of a position coach before he was finally hired as a head coach by a college program that really had no other attractive alternatives. Likewise, after being fired there, Croom also looks to be settling in as a career position coach as well.

Going on eight years later, both still have nearly carbon copy resumes and neither have done anything to give anyone any reasonable belief that they should shoulder any more responsibility. In other words, hindsight 20/20, the correct answer in the Shula or Croom debate was neither, and their respective career paths in recent years have only underscored that point.