At the end of the 2014 season, the Carolina Panthers announced that Bruce DeHaven would be replacing Richard Rodgers as the team’s special teams coordinator. DeHaven has an impressive resume with 26 years of experience on special teams with stops with the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks. He joined the Carolina Panthers prior to the 2013 season.
Unfortunately it was announced on the team’s website on Tuesday, that DeHaven will have to take a leave of absence for unspecified medical reasons.
He will be replaced by Russ Purnell, who has over 25 years of NFL coaching experience. He has served as a special teams coach for the Seattle Seahawks, Houston/Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, Indianpolis Colts, and Jacksonville Jaguars. He was part of two Super Bowl winning coaching staffs with the Ravens in 2000 and the Colts in 2006.
Last season the special teams unit was one of the worst in the league and improving this group has been a focus of the Carolina Panthers this offseason. The team brought in a number of players, like Jason Trusnik, Jordan Todman, Ted Ginn Jr. and Teddy Williams, who are expected to make this group better.