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Carolina Panthers

Three Questions With: Defensive line coach Mike Phair


Mike Phair comes to Carolina after spending two seasons with the Colts as defensive line coach. He previously spent time with the Seahawks, Bears and Bucs. Phair played under Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow at Arizona State and later worked for him at the school as a graduate assistant.

Here are three questions with Phair.

What philosophy do you live by as a coach?

"My whole focus is technique and fundamentals. I preach it every day and I won't veer away from it. Everything we do is for a reason. It's really important that you show the players the why. Once you get that point across, that's what you stay with, and the guys will execute what you want."

What was it like to play for Coach Snow at ASU and later serve as his graduate assistant?

"Oh boy, he's just so knowledgeable. What really stood out to me... I thought I knew football having played it, but he really taught you the whole game. The details he would talk about and the way he would evaluate players. I learned a ton those first two years I was with him. I always appreciated the things he taught me."

What are the traits you'll be looking for in defensive linemen?

"You are going to hear us talk about this a lot, the toughness. A guy that has that gritty mentality. You'll see quick and athletic guys who can get off the ball and play multiple positions. They'll be all different shapes and sizes, but we want all of them to have that toughness."