Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich got fired just 11 games into his tenure with the team, giving him one of the shortest head coaching tenures in NFL history. How did this happen? Well, Panthers players and coaches say it stems from the dysfunctional culture owner David Tepper created in the organization that some even compared to the Hunger Games.

“Team sources described a ‘Hunger Games’ culture at Bank of America Stadium. Coaches said they believed other staff members were text messaging Tepper behind Reich’s back about issues they saw with the team.” Joseph Person and Dianna Russini reported in an expose in The Athletic. “In one instance, general manager Scott Fitterer and an offensive coach went to Tepper with a coaching suggestion for the quarterback.”

The reporters spoke to “more than 20 Panthers coaches, players and other league sources, some of whom were granted anonymity so they could speak freely,” and those sources “painted a picture of dysfunction inside the Panthers’ offices, with assistant coaches undermining other coaches as many went into self-preservation mode when it became clear Reich’s days were numbered.”

The Panthers are one of the worst franchises in the NFL right now

David Tepper surrounded by angry Carolina Panthers fans

This drama that led to Frank Reich getting fired by David Tepper is just the latest black eye for the Panthers, who have gone through three head coaches (and two interim coaches) since Tepper bought the team in 2018.

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Carolina now sits at 1-11 this season, and their 2024 first-round pick (currently No. 1 overall) is heading to the Chicago Bears due to the trade that brought in Bryce Young this offseason.

With the poor on-field results and front-office dysfunction, the Panthers are now in the running for the title of worst NFL franchise, although the Arizona Cardinals probably hold that distinction right now after Daniel Snyder finally sold the Washington Commanders this offseason.

The next coach that Tepper hires will have a big job turning this situation around, and if he can’t the franchise could be in trouble for years to come.