According to sports journalist Steve Reed, from the Associated Press,
The tenure of Frank Reich in Carolina has come to an end after just 11 games.
The coach of the Carolina Panthers was dismissed on Monday after the team’s poor record of 1-10 in his first year as head coach.
Panthers owner David Tepper announced the move hours after several news outlets reported that he used a profanity as he was leaving the locker room following a 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Tepper brought on Reich to address the shortcomings of his team’s offense in recent years and to groom Bryce Young, the first overall draft pick whom he traded four picks and star receiver D.J. Moore for in the offseason, with the goal of achieving multiple Super Bowl victories.
The Panthers will now have a franchise-record sixth consecutive losing season.
The Panthers have a record of 30 wins and 63 losses since Tepper took ownership of the team from Jerry Richardson in 2018 for a purchase price of $2.275 billion. They have yet to qualify for the playoffs.
Chris Tabor, the coordinator for special teams, will temporarily assume the role of head coach. Thomas Brown, the offensive coordinator, will now serve as the play caller, while Jim Caldwell, senior assistant, will act as his special advisor.
Tabor, the interim coach, has dismissed Josh McCown and Duce Staley, the quarterbacks and running backs coaches, respectively. This information was shared with The Associated Press by an anonymous source on Monday, as the changes have not yet been officially announced.
Reich personally selected McCown and Staley to serve as assistants.
When Tepper chooses his next head coach after the season ends, it will be the seventh person to serve as a full-time or interim head coach under him.
Tepper will be speaking to the press on Tuesday at a press conference held at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers have decided to cancel all media interactions on Monday.
Reich is the second NFL head coach to be fired this season, joining Josh McDaniels of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Reich was dismissed from his position as head coach sooner than any other coach since Pete McCulley, who had a record of 1-8 with San Francisco in 1978. He is the seventh NFL head coach in the past six years to be let go during or after their first season, following Lovie Smith (Houston, 2022), Nathaniel Hackett (Denver, 2022), David Culley (Houston, 2021), Urban Meyer (Jacksonville, 2021), Freddie Kitchens (Cleveland, 2019) and Steve Wilks (Arizona, 2018).
Attempts to contact Reich for comment via phone and text were not responded to immediately.
Tepper’s actions as a team owner have displayed impatience. Reich, the Panthers’ third head coach to be fired mid-season, is another example of this under Tepper’s leadership.
He is also the owner of the Major League Soccer team in Charlotte and has dismissed two coaches within the organization’s first two years of operation.
In the world of the NFL, Tepper became the owner of Ron Rivera as his head coach in 2018. However, he chose to terminate Rivera’s contract less than two years into the season. Perry Fewell took over for the remainder of the season before Tepper offered Matt Rhule, who had previously been the coach at Baylor, a lucrative seven-year, $63 million deal. However, Rhule’s tenure lasted less than 2 and a half seasons before Tepper fired him and replaced him with Wilks, the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, on a temporary basis.
Tepper proceeded to bring on Reich, who previously served as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles and aided in their Super Bowl victory, before later becoming the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, he was let go by the Colts last season. Wilks currently holds the position of defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.
Carolina continues to be one of the lowest performing teams in the league when it comes to offensive statistics. They currently rank 30th in total offense and passing yards per game, and have not scored more than 15 points in a game since their bye week.
Reich had signed a four-year contract with the Panthers that runs through the 2026 season. Tepper will be on the hook for an estimated $9 million per season over the next three seasons.
Reich had prior success leading NFL offenses, however, this did not carry over to his time with the Panthers.
Young has been sacked a total of 40 times this season, while the Panthers’ offensive line has given up a total of 43 sacks in 11 games, ranking fourth highest in the NFL. Due to facing significant pressure throughout the season, it has been challenging to accurately assess Young’s development as a quarterback.
However, the ex-Alabama player has not shown improvement as a quarterback and is among the lowest performing in the league in various statistical areas. He has not achieved a passing yardage of 250 in any game and has nearly equal numbers of interceptions (eight) and touchdown passes (nine).
Based on their performance, the Panthers may have a chance to secure the top pick in the upcoming draft. However, this pick would ultimately belong to the Chicago Bears due to their acquisition of Young.
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