Wednesday, May 22, 2024

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — David Tepper, the owner of the Carolina Panthers, was searching for the perfect head coach after firing Matt Rhule in October 2022. Tepper, who purchased the team in 2018, undertook a more extensive search for Rhule’s successor and ultimately chose Frank Reich, the former Indianapolis Colts coach and the starting quarterback for the first game in Panthers history. Ultimately, Tepper gave Reich a four-year deal and resources to build a top-tier staff.

However, halfway through Reich’s first season, Tepper warned Reich that he needed to see improvement on offense, especially with No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Young struggling and the Panthers owning the league’s worst record. Following back-to-back losses with Reich calling the plays, Tepper decided to fire him on Nov. 27.

The decision to fire Reich was based on the offensive problems and Young’s lack of development. Additionally, there was dysfunction inside the Panthers’ offices, with assistant coaches undermining each other and texting Tepper with complaints behind Reich’s back.

Reich’s firing came after just 10 months of being named the first offensive-minded head coach in Panthers history. Despite the promise of a strong staff and encouragement from Tepper to bring in various perspectives on the offense, the team struggled. Critics also call into question whether General Manager Scott Fitterer provided enough playmakers for Young.

All in all, Reich’s reign and subsequent firing raised questions about ownership’s involvement in football decisions and the direction of the Panthers moving forward.

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