CHARLOTTE - Sean McDermott, who previously headed up an attacking Philadelphia Eagles defense, will fill the same role for the Panthers as their defensive coordinator, the team announced Wednesday.
McDermott and Panthers head coach Ron Rivera are quite familiar with each other. Both joined the Eagles coaching staff in 1999 and worked together for five seasons.
"I have worked with Sean and know he is an intensely focused and very smart coach," Ron Rivera said. "He has a lot of versatility in his background that provides him with sound experience teaching defense. Sean is a highly regarded young coach, and we think he will make a strong contribution to the Carolina Panthers."
McDermott, 36, comes to Carolina following a two-year stint as the Eagles' defensive coordinator, the culmination of a 12-year stay in Philadelphia - the only NFL team for which he has worked.
The Eagles forced 72 turnovers over the last two seasons, tied with the Green Bay Packers for the most in the NFL, and ranked 12th in the league in total defense in each of McDermott's two seasons at the helm.
A safety at the College of William and Mary, McDermott was a graduate assistant at his alma mater for one season before joining the Eagles as scouting administrative coordinator. He slowly worked his way up the ranks, from a defensive assistant to a position coach in the secondary and at linebacker, and finally to interim defensive coordinator prior to the 2009 season.
When Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson - among Rivera's most valued mentors - lost his battle with cancer in the summer of 2009, McDermott took over the defense fulltime.