CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) – Inexperienced but innovative.
Meet Panthers coaching candidate Ejiro Evero.
When Nathanial Hackett was fired this past December as head coach, the Broncos looked to their defensive coordinator to take over. However, Evero told them to look elsewhere.
“The best thing for this team moving forward was for me to continue to work with the defense,” he said on Dec. 29. “I think that’s where I can have the best value for this team.”
It was a surprising move considering Evero, like most coaches, desired to be a head coach. But that was then, and this is now.
Since the regular season ended, Evero’s been in high demand, drawing interest from the Broncos, and four other teams, including the Panthers.
We’re not sure what his sales pitch has been like during interviews, but it may sound something like this:
“When people put our tape on, I want them to see a defense that’s playing fast, that’s playing aggressive, and that’s playing physical,” he said upon being introduced as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator before the start of this past season.
Though he’s only 42, Evero’s been in the coaching game for 17 years, with almost all of them coming in the NFL. After his playing career as a practice player flamed out after one year, he began coaching at UC Davis before ultimately making his way to the NFL permanently in 2011.
“The great thing about it is that it’s exposed me to so many different strategies and so many different schemes,” Evero said in February of 2022. “It makes you realize there’s a lot of ways to get it done.”
After he spent five years in various 49ers roles, Evero bounced from Green Bay to L.A., where he eventually got his first job as a position coach with the Rams. The year after he helped Los Angeles win a Super Bowl in 2021 as the secondary coach and passing game coordinator, Evero hit paydirt in Denver with his very own defense.
The biggest argument against Evero is his need for more experience. However, you can’t ignore what he was able to do. Last year was his first and only year as a coordinator.
Though the Broncos finished 5-12, Evero’s defensive plays kept them in many games, and they ended up finishing the regular season ranked seventh in yards allowed and seventh in points per drive. Using a 3-4 formation, he strove for perfection and the football.
“The biggest thing in football is the ball,” he said. “We’ve got be attacking the ball.”
Say what you will about Evero’s youth and inexperience, but he’s also energetic and innovative.
And heck, he also could be the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.