All right, Chris, I need you to give me one word. One word that describes the Carolina Panthers right now. One word. I want you to think of just one. The first word that pops into your head. Go. Can I give you two? No one? I want one. Ok. Dumpster. Dumpster. Well, you’re gonna say Dumpster fire. I’m sure you’re gonna say my word. Dysfunctional, dysfunctional, kind of the same thing, kind of the same thing. That’s where we are right now. All right, let’s get this sucker started. The state of North Carolina covers 53,000 square miles. It is the habitat of the fear. Get dialed in Panthers fans for an in depth. Look at your team exclusive interviews. Lock a room insight. Let’s huddle up for Panthers playbook. Here are your hosts, Dennis Cox and Chris Lee. Welcome back to another episode of the Panthers Playbook. That is Chris Lee. I’m Dennis Cox. Uh, before we get into, we’re actually gonna talk about Bryce Young a little bit today because we really haven’t done a full, like just an episode of talking about Bryce, but we’re also going to dive into the article that was published by the athletic today by Joe person who covers the Panthers as a, as a beat reporter for the athletic and Diana Rossini who covers the NFL as a whole for the athletic formerly of ESPN Diana Rossini. But before we get into all that, make sure you smash the subscribe button and leave your thoughts in the comments section below. We want to hear your thoughts as fans. It’s a sounding board. You all you might disagree with what Chris and I talk about and that is totally ok. We want to hear your thoughts and opinions below and we definitely want to hear your thoughts and opinions on the dysfunctional dumpster fire. That is the Carolina Panthers right now because Chris, there’s a pretty scathing stuff of the athletic, uh reported on Wednesday of this week, the day that we were actually reporting, uh re recording this episode. A lot of scathing stuff about some stuff that happened in the organization uh involving Frank Reich, people going behind Frank Reich, people going directly to David Tepper General manager, Scott Fitterer. Just complete and total garbage in terms of how this Panthers organization is run right now. Dumpster, that’s the word I mean, and, and we’ll add the fire along with that. Um And part of the headline says Hunger Games culture that was uh what was described, uh and I pulled up the article just so we could kind of uh talk about it as it’s there but it’s, it just kind of, it’s so interesting all the crap that we gave Matt rule. And it’s like if Matt rule was an F Frank Reich was like, you just showed up to put your name on the test and did nothing else, you know what I’m saying? And like, um, and, and what’s interesting too is I uh saw a piece of an interview from uh Jeff Saturday when he was uh on the Pat mcafee show and he was kind of describing the culture or lack thereof that he took over in India and how much that was a dumpster fire. And he knew coming into that, that they weren’t gonna win any games. He’s just literally trying to keep the trains on the track. He wasn’t there that like if we won a game cool, I’m just trying to make sure we keep it the trains on the track. So the next guy when they get here, they have something to build off of because when he got in there, it was nothing. And it’s like, wow, if it was that bad in Indy again, it was that bad here. And it makes me wonder what is it about Frank Reich? Because, you know, when we talk to other people about him, they’re, they’re raving about the man he is and even people on the current coaching staff, he’s such a good man. There’s people who cover him. He’s such a good man. Me and you talk to Boomer Asias and we’re going to talk to Boomer Sen again. Uh, next week he’s gonna say he’s one of my good friends. He’s such a good man. But why is he such a crappy leader if this is the case, right? Like now you have two NFL franchises that he’s basically putting ruins 365 days apart from each other. Uh, so it’s, it’s very interesting to see that and see that coaches were going behind his back to talk to David Tapper, like yo stuff isn’t going right or this is what we really need to be doing with Bryce. Maybe we should sit him down. This scheme doesn’t quite work, he’s forcing this thing. And, you know, also a lot of the coaches were upset with the, um, play calling change when Frank Wright took it back as well according to that same article. So it’s like all the things that we were upset about, the coaches were upset about it as well, which caused a lot of dysfunction to cause that dumpster fire. So in the article by the athletic, which by the way, they talk to 20 people, whether they’re coaches, players, other league sources. Again, some speaking on condition of anonymity, um, but we’re talking about 20 people. So this is not an article that was just like, oh, we’re reporting on a game that happened. This is something that they’ve been probably working on for several weeks. Right now and there’s a quote from one assistant that said, quote, people just finger pointing, hoping they don’t get exposed. And this is something that we always see in, in pro sports, uh, whether it’s NFL NBA, whatever it might be. But generally either when a coach gets fired or a player gets traded, you hear the negative stuff start to come out generally, right? Like, well, you know, this player, you know, didn’t get along in the locker room super well, or the coach didn’t have the right culture, you know, lost the locker room, whatever it might be. You hear this kind of stuff, but we’re hearing stuff on a completely different level than what we’re used to hearing. The fact that there are some coaches on the team assistants believe that they are undermining other coaches basically in self preservation mode. Hence the Hunger games aspect of all this, uh our friend Tim Donnelly from the drive on 9899, the fan actually kind of sounds like Game of Thrones uh for me to watch that, but there are also a belief that other staff members were text, text messaging, sending text messages to David Tepper himself behind Reich’s back about issues that they saw. So it’s like we don’t want the owner impacting stuff that happens on the field, right, in terms of game plans and all that kind of stuff, but we have assisted coaches going directly apparently to the owner and the general manager himself. Well, how is he not going to intercede? You know, that’s the thing is that there were obviously there are fractures within the coaching staff and this is the whole thing we’re talking about. This goes so beyond even just a single player or just the players on the field with the players on the field are trust me, aren’t without fault. But this is something that is what we like to use the word systemic, right? Like this is a top down type thing and this is the culture that David Tepper has allowed to happen. You know, maybe that’s, maybe that’s the reason why Frank Wright got fired so quickly is because maybe he saw the culture eroding even faster and he’s like gotta pull it, you know, and, and this does go to David Tepper as well because um you know, in the article, it, it definitely says, and, you know, it’s something that uh has been speculated, something I thought that David Tepper wanted, um you know, Frank Reich to hire outside of his immediate rolodex, he wanted him to go out there, find some new people. Um And, you know, we talked about relationships earlier and how people said he’s a good man. A lot of those guys who may did, maybe didn’t know Frank Reich beforehand, but knew of him through mutual friends. A lot of them said they took the job because of Frank Reich and the reputation that he had um around the NFL. So um all of that is, is, is very interesting and with David Tepper wanting to basically force Frank Reich to build the team the way he wanted to. You, you kind of wonder if the mix and personalities is the reason why the offense looks as clunky as it does right now, why the operation of the team looks as clunky as it does right now. Um You know, Frank Reich was always talking about how collaborative it is for everybody to work together. And it makes me wonder, was it really collaborative or where is, was that the word that you wanted to use in front of the media? So people can get the clue. We need to work together this, we need to do this together. So we need to figure out how to take what you did here, what you did here, what I did here and what you did here and bring that all together and can you do that? Um One thing that I thought was interesting and here’s a quote from the article that I thought was very interesting. It says, quote, it was just not a good offense. One staffer said you didn’t see Indy’s offense when they were second in the league rushing in 2021. You didn’t see Philly uh when he was there or when he was with the Chargers and those dynamic offenses, you didn’t see any of that. Now, my ears or eyes perked up when I was reading that and it said you didn’t see, is that because they’re referring to re in past tense or is this somebody else who’s not, who’s also without a job right now? That leaves two other people? Was that Josh mccown or was that dude staley talking about that? And maybe, are they one of or two of the guys that had some issues and went behind folks backs, which is maybe why they got let go. You know what I’m saying? So like it’s, it’s one of those weird things like you kind of get last year, Steve Wilkes takes over and he tells, uh, Phil Snow, hey, you can go ahead and you can leave with, with rule because, you know, he wanted to put in his own defense, he wanted to make sure his defense was there and the way, you know, and he, and he’s not gonna do that with Phil Snow being there, but Chris Tabor, he has nothing to do with the offense. He’s a special teams coordinator. So we’re looking for reasons as to why he would dismiss two coaches and maybe this article is, is exposing some of the reasons why this is just speculation we don’t know who, but this is just the speculation that I have, especially after reading that quote. Well, here’s the thing to keep in mind is that Duce staley was the running backs coach in Philadelphia during a time when Frank Reich was there. So like those, they’re, they’re boys, they’re, they’re guys and Josh mccown was a quarterback in Philadelphia when Reich was also there and while Dee Staley was also, so there, so that’s where the connection all comes in. So these were quote unquote Reich guys and ironically, not ironically, but sure enough, all the Reich guys are gone. So we’re not entirely sure what’s going on, uh, behind the scenes with that. But here, here’s one thing though to, to think about do staley wanted to come closer to home. He said that also Josh mccown, this is his first NFL job as, uh, you know, not being a player but on a coaching staff. So if guys were going in self preservation mode, wouldn’t those two be guys who could potentially go in pre self-preservation mode, especially you see the, the ship going down? Now, I’m not trying to put anything out there, like, you know, or trying to make, you know, something out of nothing, right? But like, you know, somebody who wants to stay close to home because they’re from this area or somebody who is looking at the writing on the wall and doesn’t want to see his NFL career as a coach blow up in his face his first year. You know, I don’t know. It’s just, there’s a lot to think about a lot that’s crossed my mind and those two things that you brought up crossed my mind as well. But also the self-preservation thing in there just, you know, when it’s going down, everybody is on their own, they’re saving themselves. Oh yeah, 100%. There are four key pieces. Four key players, four key, I say players uh four key cogs to the machine in the NFL. One, it’s the owner. Two is the general manager. Three is the head coach. Four is your starting quarterback. Those four things have to all be on the same page. They all four of those things have to be on the same page because if you’re not, you get what we have with the Carolina Panthers right now because clearly. So according to the article, the plan was for Bryce Young in his first year, we’re gonna get into Bryce. This will lead us into Bryce. The first year was for him to learn how to call plays in a huddle based off of hearing, you know, the play call to him and regurgitating that to the, to the huddle and, and such because it’s different in college when you just have, you know, signs up on the sidelines and stuff. So calling plays in a huddle and just the overall grasp of the system and the offense, right, just understanding the, the concepts and all those kinds of things after this season. So in the off season, 2024 start to really work and hone in on some of his mechanics. So that was the thing that was apparently was agreed upon by everybody. All right. But then you apparently allegedly have some coaches talking about some of the footwork and mechanics of Bryce Young saying he’s not getting deep enough in some of his drop sets and things along those lines which is leading to several of the sacks because there’s inconsistencies there. So. All right. Wait, hold on. I thought we weren’t working on the mechanics until the off season. So then you have people, you have assistant coaches going to Tepper, you have assistant coaches going directly, uh to the general manager, Scott Fitterer and then Fitterer is relaying this information up to, to Tepper who’s saying these things to Frank Wright. So there’s no synergy between your owner GM coach and quarterback. None, none whatsoever. If those four things aren’t lined up, you have what we have with the Carolina Panthers and right now they don’t even have a head coach right now. It’s just the interim Chris Tabor, those four key things. If you don’t have those, your organization sucks. Simple as that, simple as that add in the nugget that Bryce Young isn’t who Frank Reich wanted and from the beginning and, and, and that’s, and that’s where you have some of that dysfunction between all that. And so one of the criticisms that did this mean you got from folks who listen is that we weren’t being hard enough on Bryce and from the psychology standpoint of a upset Panthers fan who went through, think about the five years, uh, that the Carolina Panthers had before David Tepper owned the team. One of those years they didn’t make the playoffs. That was 2016. It was a down year. It was still six and 10, still had, uh, you know, some key players there on the team and those players for the most part came back thinking about Cam Newton. Uh, Thomas Davis Glu Kuch Greg Olson, folks like that. So anybody after that, especially a quarterback, uh, you know, they’re going to be compared to the best franchise quarterback that’s ever played in that jersey, which is Cam Newton, right. That’s probably why fans were out on Teddy Bridgewater fast. That’s why, you know, it was hard to get behind a Kyle Allen. That’s why it was hard to really get behind Sam Donald and Baker Mayfield and, you know, the list goes on and on and on. Right. And the hard part for that is like you couldn’t have drafted a completely opposite person than Cam Newton. So I’m not coming in expecting Cam Newton things. Cam Newton could extend the play in ways that Bryce Young just can’t and he will not. Right. Cam Newton can run over the linebacker, the linebacker is gonna demolish Bryce Young, you know what I’m saying? And then so I’m just kind of thinking about it that way. Like, ok, let me not look at him and put Cam Newton expectations on him. Cam was just different. Cam. Cam is just different. Right? So what are the ex, so what are the expectations he’s, he’s supposed to be accurate, throwing the ball and makes great decisions? And I think for the most part, we’ve seen that right when he has time and there’s been charts that’s come out to say that he’s the most accurate quarterback in its tightest windows in the NFL right now when he has time. And how often does he have time? Like Dennis, he’s on pace to be sacked 64 times this season. That’s not fun for anybody. That’d be the fourth most in NFL history by the way, that’s, that’s even if that was Cam Newton at 6 ft 5 £265 250 pounds, excuse me, that wouldn’t be fun for him that, that puts him at danger and he was at danger. We saw what ended up happening to him, right? So when you have that and then you also include what we already know about the receivers. They’re not getting open, they’re not creating separation. The offensive line is letting everything leak through. We just, you just alluded to the dysfunction between all the four important pillars to any football team. We don’t need to go over that again. We know all of that was in dysfunction. The head coach didn’t want him, there’s other coaches going behind, uh, you know, his back to talk to David Tepper about issues, there’s problems there and then on top of all of that, the scheme sucks because you’re trying to marry things that probably just don’t blend together. And you’re telling me I’m supposed to sit here and say, but Bryce Young, but Bryce Young has, he made some bad plays and some bad decisions. He’s a, he’s a rookie and if this was Andy Dalton playing in his, what 13th year being a starter all year, would I have more to say about the quarterback position? You’re damn right. I would be right. But this is a rookie quarterback who there’s already, there’s some dysfunction as to if everybody even wanted him or not, right and everything we just named, how is he supposed to get over this? And so that’s why I haven’t been as critical. I don’t think he’s, he’s had a fair shot for me to, to be critical of him. And so you look at CJ Stroll, the person he’s gonna be compared to the most looks like he has a great situation with the Texans. His coaching situation is solid. His offensive line is solid just lost. Tank Dell, but he had a very solid, you know, receiving core right. It could have been better, but he was in a situation where he could succeed. Bryce is not in a situation where he can succeed. I have more to say about this, but I’ve been talking too long and I’ll let you go. I mean, if you look at Bryce so far this season, just in terms of what he’s done on the field. I, I, he, he definitely deserve some critique as well and some criticism because we haven’t seen the arm strength that we normally expect to see. Even on some of the deep throws. It’s like, ah, no, well, thought we expect a little bit of a stronger arm. So there are some of those things I will say, there are some of the decision making has been in the sense of like, he’s just kind of seeing things and he’s panicking a little bit like in the last game, he just got pressure and just threw the ball to the side like to the left. I was like, dude, where are you going with the ball? Like you didn’t even look to see even see if Miles Sanders was there for a checkdown. You just threw it laterally and just goes out of bounds. You lost yards. Some of the decision making has been really good. We shall we analyze why? Well, again, he was under pressure, but again, it’s the panic that’s on Bryce. The panic is on Bryce. I will say this when you do get pressured like that, you do get a bunch of things going through in your head. Um, but some of the sacks are because when we talk to Boomer Asias and when we talk to Boomer Asias and Chris, when I asked him, what’s his biggest weakness is that he’s not throwing with anticipation. That’s something that is learned over time. And I think that sometimes he might not see throwing with anticipation and that’s the reason why he’s like, I, I missed it and he holds on to the ball and he gets flushed out of the pocket gets sacked. So some sacks are on him. Some sacks are on the offensive line. Some sacks are on the scheme. It’s not just one thing. It’s a combination of all of it. All right, it’s a combination of all of it. The old line does suck. The scheme does suck. And the wide receivers I had, there’s one person in the comments section that said wide receivers don’t get open in the NFL. You have to throw them open. I was like opening the NFL might just be literally like a half yard or like a half a step. I’m like, that’s open in the NFL Carolina Panthers receivers can’t even do that. But this is where I, I I’m not going to label this kid a bust right now because of this. When you clearly have dysfunction in your coaching staff where you probably had one coach or a couple of coaches telling you one thing, another coach trying to tell you another thing we should do this or we should do that, try this thing or try that thing. You’re pulling me in three different directions where am I supposed to go? You know, there’s no direct line of we are going this way as a team, as a unit, we might lose games, but we’re moving forward in this direction. It might be the wrong direction, but at least you’re going somewhere. And Carolina right now behind the scenes, clearly, the dysfunction ain’t helping the kid out. I don’t think you could get a fair evaluation is where he could go and what he possibly is. And again, every week, for every bad decision or bad thing that we saw about Bryce Young, there’s also at least two more great decisions that he made. So he has like he’s seeing the ghost to talk about Sam Arnold, but he also made a lot of a lot more better decisions than what Sam Darnell did when he was in his uh first couple of years in the league. Like Bryce Young is still making some really good plays. There are certain certain games where like literally if Bryce, she didn’t make the throws, he did or escape the pocket when he did or make the throwaways that he did at that those particular times, the Carolina Panthers don’t even get close to being in, in those particular games. He can’t help what the scheme is or who, what’s around him. So like, we just don’t have a fair evaluation of them. We don’t. So that’s why like for me, it’s like I can’t come on here and, and literally, and criticize, dude, I just, I can’t, and I’ve seen some people say that he needs to, to quiet up the crowd or, you know, everybody who’s criticizing him, he needs to go out there and have a 300 yard game with who with who, what time is he gonna get to, to throw that? Like who’s he gonna throw it to? Who’s gonna be down the field, the offense? If you look at a lot of like, I’ve been, I’ve been at all the games so far this season and literally most of the, the route combinations are everybody go up 10 yards and come back and when defenses know that and they can see that they can sit on it. There’s not people going deep, you know what I’m saying? And even if they are going deep, he doesn’t have time. So if he’s gonna dink it to somebody who’s eight yards away, they’re gonna get tackled immediately, that’s going to be very hard for him to get 300 yards, especially when he’s being sacked and being pressured. I’m sorry that, but it’s gonna be very hard for him to do that. That’s not on Bryce, that is not on Bryce. And so I think people get so frustrated with the quarterback position. They put so much on that position. They’re not thinking about what’s around them, what the quarterback has to work with. Now give me a great offensive line, some weapons and, and install something that works with his skill set. Like he out of Alabama, then now we’re talking and if he sucks in that, well, he just can’t make it in the NFL. Yeah, that’s the thing. And I know a lot of people will make the comparison of like, well, not, you know, some of the great quarterbacks don’t always have great weapons and stuff around them. I was like, well, I mean, but there’s something like every team needs like every quarter, every great quarterback always had something great around him in some way, shape or form, whether there’s an elite receiver or a great offense line or something along those lines. Every quarterback out there needs help. It’s as simple as that you just do. So it’s way too early to make a judgment in my opinion on Bryce and people think that he’s a bust, that’s fine. You are more than welcome to think that that is your, your prerogative. You could do that 100% with, ok with you making that choice yourself. It’s just way too early to sit there and say this dude’s a bust simple as that. That’s what I think. And until there’s actually stability in the organization, the guy unfortunately is gonna continue to fail and the team is gonna continue to fail and he’s just gonna be part of that because there’s just dysfunction in the organization. It’s as simple as that until that’s fixed until there’s stability there, no one’s gonna succeed on this team and let me put this out there too because like Dennis, you know, this, uh but Panthers playbook wasn’t started then, but before the draft, when me and you on radio together, when we were, uh you know, doing, you know, TV, hits or whatever together and talking on culture state and all that good stuff. I was always for the Carolina Panthers going for CJ Stroud. That’s the guy that I wanted because a pocket passer, especially after his performance in the CFP last year. And that’s the, that’s the main thing I got up because the question mark was, does he have a capability? Is he mobile? And we didn’t really see that at Ohio State and he showed it a little bit against Georgia last year. Now, with that being said, he still isn’t the most mobile guy. He has a little bit of ability. But do you really think CJ Strout will look a lot better in this offense with what’s going on with this team with this dysfunction and these same weapons, this scheme, that offensive line, the same coach that got fired. Do you think CJ Strout will look like he’s the rookie of the year right now leading uh all, all passers in the NFL right now? Probably not with Adam Fein as your number one. Probably not like, come on, man, let’s, let’s, let’s use our heads here. Yeah, exactly. That’s I, I’ll wrap things up on. This is that a lot of people expect that the quarterback is just gonna be the savior and that it just cures all. That’s not the case. He’s not superman. He’s not. We got to remember that here in Carolina. Forget that that’s a high bar for anybody to get to. Now we drafted Anthony Richardson. Ok. Similar profile, similar skill set. He’s not superman. We gotta stop looking at people like Cam Newton, you gotta get over that. Cam Newton is not coming back. He came back once. He’s not coming back again. We gotta get over that and we’re giving him that Cam Newton Bar and he will never live up to it if that’s, that’s what, that’s what you’re looking for. That’s gonna wrap it up for this episode of Panthers playbook. Make sure again you smash the subscribe button. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below Saints this Sunday. We’ll see how it all turns out. We’ll see you next time. We’ll have another episode for you after Sunday’s game, by the way. Let’s have some fun, right? I guess. Yeah, it’s winnable. No, Derek Carr. It’s winnable. Yeah, they’re probably like, yeah, guys, they got the Panthers, Jameis Winston’s like, let’s go. Somebody’s gonna be NFC player of the week for the Saints for the Saints for the Saints. Yes. Sorry, I need a special, but we’ll see you guys on Sunday.