There was a widespread belief that when Ron Rivera got the okay to return as head coach of the Carolina Panthers he would have to make some staff changes as part of the agreement with owner Jerry Richardson.
As it turned out three assistants were let go, running backs coach John Settle, wide receivers coach Fred Graves and linebackers coach Warren Belin. Coordinators Rob Chudzinski (offense), Sean McDermott (defense) and Sean McDermott (special teams) will remain with the club.
Assistant wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl escaped the purge. He played for the Panthers from 2003-05.
"These were tough decisions because each of these coaches has played an instrumental role on our staff over the last two seasons," Rivera said. "However, I have decided to go in a different direction at these positions."
The departure of Belin is a bit of a surprise because he coached defensive rookie of the year favorite Luke Kuechly, who led the league in tackles, and Thomas Davis, a comeback player award candidate after finishing second on the team in tackles in his first full season action following a third surgery on the same knee. Both were instrumental in the resurgence of the Panthers defense in 2012.
Berlin, from Marshville, NC and was a linebacker at Wake Forest, coached on the college level for two decades before getting his first professional job after Rivera was hired.