HomeTrade RumorsPanthers’ Organizational Dysfunction: The Latest Updates

Panthers’ Organizational Dysfunction: The Latest Updates

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The firing of former Panthers head coach Frank Reich was not a snap decision. Team owner David Tepper had been considering this move for weeks before ultimately making the call. Joseph Person and Dianna Russini spoke with numerous players and staff within the organization, some anonymously, about the state of the organization and uncovered some newsworthy comments.

First, it was confirmed that the team’s poor offensive performance played a significant role in Reich’s departure. In addition to being the head coach, Reich also called offensive plays for Carolina. He handed off play-calling duties to first-year offensive coordinator Thomas Brown for three games before taking them back, but nothing seemed to help their struggling rookie quarterback, Bryce Young, and this decision reportedly caused division within the staff.

Young, in his 11 starts this year, is averaging fewer than 200 passing yards per game and has thrown only nine touchdowns to nine interceptions. The offense as a whole has struggled, ranking 29th in points scored and 30th in yards gained. Their passing game ranks 30th and their rushing game ranks 26th.

One perspective, per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, is that the Panthers’ offense was too complex for the rookie quarterback. Reich brought in assistant coaches from various backgrounds. When he was let go, quarterbacks coach Josh McCown and running backs coach Duce Staley were also dismissed due to their significant influence on the offense. With Reich’s plan, Brown’s scheme, and input from McCown and Staley, there were simply too many cooks in the kitchen. The plan post-Reich is to simplify the offense to make it more manageable for Young.

Furthermore, there appeared to be a disconnect within the coaching staff. Reports indicated that there were efforts within the coaching staff to bench Young in favor of a veteran like backup quarterback Andy Dalton. These attempts reportedly never reached Reich or general manager Scott Fitterer, possibly due to Panthers staffers communicating directly with Tepper behind Reich’s back.

Tepper was hands-on this season, engaging in an extensive coaching search after firing Matt Rhule. Even though rumors suggested that Reich’s daughter was hired immediately after the 2022 season concluded, Tepper took his time before eventually landing on Reich. He also instructed Reich to fix Young’s footwork and suggested hires for assistant coaches. With potential replacements for Reich coming into the picture, the Panthers are reportedly on the lookout for a “young offensive coach” to fill the role.

Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Eagles 36-year-old offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik, and Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith are all considered potential candidates. The Panthers also have Brown on the offensive staff, who was a head coaching candidate in the offseason.

Despite the struggles on the field, Tepper will need to thoroughly assess his options to address this season’s poor performance.

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