Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott interviews for Redskins head coaching job

jperson@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 4, 2014 

Carolina Panthers 2013 Football Headshots

Sean McDermott

UNCREDITED — AP

Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott interviewed with Washington Redskins officials Saturday in Charlotte for the Redskins’ head-coaching vacancy, according to a league source with knowledge of the meeting.

McDermott, who met at an undisclosed location, becomes the third known candidate to interview with the Redskins since they fired Mike Shanahan last week.

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia interviewed last week, while Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is scheduled to interview with Washington on Sunday.

Caldwell, the former Wake Forest coach, interviewed for the head-coaching spot with the Detroit Lions on Friday.

New York Giantsdefensive coordinator Perry Fewell, a Shelby native, also has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Fewell interviewed with the Panthers before Ron Rivera was hired three years ago.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works with the NFL to promote diversity on coaching staffs and in front offices, encouraged the Redskins to consider Caldwell and Jackson, according to the Washington Post.

McDermott, 39, would become the youngest coach in the NFL if he’s hired.

The longtime Philadelphia Eagles assistant has helped transform the Panthers’ defense. Carolina was 28th in the league in total defense in 2011 during McDermott’s first year in Charlotte, before improving to 10th in 2012 and No. 2 this season.

The Panthers also rank second in scoring defense and run defense, and led the league with a team-record 60 sacks.

McDermott said last week he believes he’s ready to become a head coach but wants to make sure the timing is right.

NFL rules allow assistant coaches on playoff teams with a first-round bye to interview the week of the wild-card games. The Panthers (12-4) will host a divisional round game at Bank of America Stadium on Jan. 12.

When learning of the Redskins’ intentions to interview McDermott, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman reminded him he only has one chance to make a first impression, according to Rivera.

Person: 704-358-5123; Twitter: @josephperson

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