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Report: Panthers Talking to Seifert

January 1, 1999

CHARLOTTE (AP) _ The Carolina Panthers have focused their search for a new coach on former San Francisco coach George Seifert, The Charlotte Observer is reporting.

Seifert flew to Charlotte Monday night and met with Panthers owner Jerry Richardson before flying back home to San Francisco late Tuesday afternoon.

Neither Seifert nor Richardson could be reached for comment, the newspaper reported.

It was unclear late Thursday whether the Panthers made Seifert an offer, but the newspaper reported that the Panthers are making a strong move on Seifert and might not wait on Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren, who can’t be contacted by other teams until the Packers’ season ends.

Green Bay plays at San Francisco in a wild-card playoff game Sunday.

At least one other team interested in Seifert, the Baltimore Ravens, dropped him from its list of prospective candidates Thursday, apparently because he’s working on a deal with the Panthers. The Seattle Seahawks also are interested in Seifert, but haven’t been nearly as aggressive as Carolina in pursuing him.

Seifert has been out of coaching the past two years. He won two Super Bowl championships and compiled the best winning percentage in NFL history _ .755 with a record of 108-35 _ during seven seasons in San Francisco.

Seifert wants control over player personnel decisions, but isn’t insisting on the title of coach/general manager, the newspaper said.

Holmgren wants that dual role, and is widely regarded as the league’s hottest coaching candidate.

The Panthers already are working on assembling a staff of assistant coaches. Tony Wise, most recently the assistant head coach of the Chicago Bears, is the top choice to be the offensive line coach and is scheduled to come to Charlotte early next week for an interview.

Three offensive assistants from former coach Dom Capers’ staff _ coordinator Gil Haskell, tight ends coach Don Breaux and wide receivers coach Richard Williamson _ have been retained.

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