Panthers pick up former Texans defensive coordinator Smith, Milus

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers have hired Richard Smith as linebackers coach and Ron Milus to work with the secondary.

Smith had been defensive coordinator with the Houston Texans the past three seasons and held the same job with the Miami Dolphins in 2005. His hiring Tuesday fills the hole created when Ken Flajole resigned to become defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams.

Milus has worked on the defensive staffs of four NFL teams, most recently with the Rams. He replaces Tim Lewis, who took a job with the Seattle Seahawks.

Milus and Mike Gillhamer will combine to work with Carolina's defensive backs.

Panthers coach John Fox has been scrambling to fill openings after six assistants, including defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac, left after the 2008 season ended.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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