Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich has been fired by owner David Tepper just 11 games into his tenure as the head of the NFC South squad. The move came after the Panthers lost to the Tennessee Titans 17-10 in Week 12 to drop them to 1-10 in the season.
Now the former Panthers coach has broken his silence regarding the firing, according to Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer.
“In an exclusive interview with The Charlotte Observer, Reich said he was sorry he couldn’t get the Panthers headed in the right direction in the short time frame given. “There’s a heart-pounding disappointment in not hitting the marks that we needed to hit to keep this going and try to get it turned around,” Reich said. “It hurts me for the guys, the team, the coaches and the fans.”'
Reich also spoke of Panthers owner David Tepper, saying that he has no hard feelings for Tepper:
“I want to convey that I have nothing but positive thoughts about Mr. Tepper. On a personal level, I saw a side of him that I deeply respect and care about. But the NFL is a meritocracy. It’s not unconditional love. I understand from a professional standpoint Mr. Tepper is going to have certain standards that he expects to have met. I have no hard feelings, and my personal relationship with him was actually a real highlight of this short time.”
This coaching move comes as the Panthers struggle on offense with 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young. The team traded up to draft the quarterback at the top of last year's draft, and now the Chicago Bears own their 2024 first-round pick, which is currently slated to be No. 1 overall. Reich started the year calling plays before handing the duties to Brown then taking them back for the last two games, culminating in the Panthers' Week 12 loss.
Reich's 11-game stint with the Panthers is the shortest run as an NFL head coach since Pete McCulley's nine games as the San Francisco 49ers head coach in 1978.