N.C. -- Carolina Panthers owner
David Tepper fired coach Frank Reich on Monday, less than 24 hours after the
owner left the locker room muttering an expletive following Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans in
tenure at Carolina ended with an NFL-worst 1-10 record -- including an 0-6 mark
on the road. He also becomes the first NFL head coach since the 1970 merger to
be fired in back-to-back seasons after last year's dismissal from the Indianapolis Colts.
"I met with Coach Reich this morning and informed him that
he will not continue as head coach of the Carolina Panthers," Tepper said
in a statement. "I want to thank Frank for his dedication and service, and
we wish him well."
Special teams coach Chris Tabor has been appointed as interim
head coach, while offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will assume playcalling
duties with help from senior assistant Jim Caldwell.
Tepper has scheduled a news conference for 10:30 a.m. ET
Tuesday. There will be no team availability Monday.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, there have
only been six NFL head coaches since the merger who didn't finish their first
season with their team, with three of those instances having come in the past
three seasons: Urban Meyer (Jaguars), Nathaniel Hackett (Broncos) and Reich.
Reich was fired after the offense produced 15 or fewer points
for the fifth straight week and seventh time in 11 games.
The offense produced only 10 points in each of the past two
games after Reich reclaimed the playcalling duties from Brown only three games
after turning them over to him.
"What are you going to do?'' Reich, who has a career record
of 41-43-1, said after Sunday's loss to the Titans. "You are 1-10. Are you
going to feel sorry for yourself? Is there something that is going to magically
fix everything? No."
Sunday's game, Tepper left the locker room shaking
his head in disgust and was heard by multiple reporters yelling
Panthers are assured of a sixth straight losing season since Tepper bought the
team in 2018 for $2.275 billion. Since then, the Panthers are 30-63 (.323) --
second-worst only to the New York Jets.
Sunday's performance left the Panthers 30th in the NFL in total
offense and 30th in passing yards per game.
That didn't bode well for Reich, who was hired in January for
his offensive prowess.
also was hired to bring along rookie quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1
pick of the 2023 draft after Carolina traded two first-round picks and wide
receiver DJ Moore to Chicago Bears to move from ninth to first.
Young ranks 29th in the NFL in Total QBR with a rating of 32.0.
He also ranks near the bottom of the league in passer rating at 74.9 and has
been sacked 40 times, tied for the fifth most for a player through his first 10
games since sacks were first tracked in 1963.
fans have been so disgusted that in two homes games -- Minnesota and Dallas -- they sold
enough of their tickets to fans from the visiting team to make Bank of America
Stadium look like a home game for them.
All that didn't sit well with Tepper and left Reich to be fired
in-season for the second straight year after he was dismissed in 2022 by the
Colts after a 3-5-1 start.
This is the second consecutive year Tepper has fired his head
coach in-season. Matt Rhule was fired last year after a 1-4 start.
his search committee targeted Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson early in
their search. When Johnson notified teams he was staying in Detroit, the search
turned to Reich because of his history with offenses, his ability to help a
rookie quarterback grow and his promise to build a veteran staff.
He was signed to a four-year deal in January.
went to four Super Bowls as a player with the Buffalo Bills, where he was primarily a backup. As a coach, he
won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles after
the 2017 season in which he was the offensive coordinator.
2017, Reich helped Carson Wentz go 11-2
with MVP-caliber numbers before a season-ending injury, and Nick Foles become the Super Bowl MVP in a 41-33 victory
against the New England Patriots.
He also worked with future Hall of Fame quarterback Philip
Rivers with the then-San Diego Chargers and the Colts.