Chudzinski is as good as gone. What do the Panthers do next?

As we reported on PantherInsider, the Jaguars plan on interviewing Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski.

We all know it’s just a matter of time before Chud is a head coach, however we all hoped it’d be after a couple of seasons.

But check this out —

After John Fox’s first season in Carolina, it was defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio — an up and coming defensive mind and “rah-rah guy” — that was a hot commodity. The Panthers, under Fox and Del Rio, turned around a defense that was previously horrible into one of the top defenses in the NFL and produced the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in Julius Peppers.

Del Rio interviewed with and got the head coaching job with Jacksonville after just one season with the Panthers.

The Panthers are in an eerily similar situation now, with a hot, young coordinator who turned around a previously horrible offense into one of the best in the NFL and will likely have produced the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in Cam Newton. Again, the poacher is Jacksonville.

To me, it’s not a question of if Chud will get a head coaching gig, it’s when. He’s definitely talented enough, and he’s gotten rave reviews from nearly everyone he’s worked with.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Panthers replace him. Will they go after someone like Norv Turner, who likely is out in San Diego, or will they turn to Carolina QB coach Mike Shula?

Will Chudzinski poach some of the Panthers’ coaches, like WR assistant Ricky Proehl or even Shula, who worked for a number of years with the Jaguars organization? If Chud brought Shula over to be his offensive coordinator, it would be an easier transition because Chud and Shula are on the same page offensively.

And for Panther fans, how will Cam Newton fare under a new offensive coordinator? Do you have faith that the Panthers won’t drop off offensively next season with a new offensive coordinator?

It’s going to be another interesting offseason.