Frank Reich is the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers, but what will he bring to the role in 2023 and beyond?
It didn’t take long for the Carolina Panthers to narrow their search for a new head coach. And the reports indicating team owner David Tepper‘s desire for an experienced figure proved true.
Although Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore impressed those in power enough to warrant a second interview, it became a battle between Frank Reich and Steve Wilks for the job. Both have strong connections to the Panthers and were made scapegoats for others’ failings during their previous stints as head coaches.
Reich – who wowed during his discussions per multiple revelations – threw Carolina’s first touchdown pass in franchise history. Things didn’t go according to plan with the Indianapolis Colts, but a meddling owner and quarterback mismanagement also played a big role in his eventual demise.
Despite this, Reich remains hugely respected in league circles. And team owner David Tepper made him Carolina’s new head coach on Thursday afternoon.
Giving Matt Rhule everything he wanted was a cataclysmic error from the billionaire. Together with the help of Nicole Tepper, Scott Fitterer, Dan Morgan, and Samir Suleiman, the owner took a different approach during this particular cycle.
What Frank Reich brings to the Carolina Panthers
Reich will command instant respect within the locker room, even if most Panthers players threw their support behind Wilks. The interim went 6-6 in the immediate aftermath of Rhule’s dismissal, which spoke volumes about his leadership and maximizing the limited resources available in difficult circumstances.
In all honesty, the Panthers couldn’t go wrong with either final candidate. Something that would allow them to hit the ground running before free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft.
Shane Steichen was the wildcard given that he could not participate in a second interview. However, rumors of the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator interviewing poorly put him out of the running.
Reich brings respectability, leadership, and a sound offensive mind to Carolina. He’s also firmly aware of the team’s proud traditions and has proven credentials when it comes to developing young quarterbacks.
This is especially significant for the Panthers, who are looking for their next franchise signal-caller this spring. While many project Anthony Richardson to be the pick at No. 9 overall, others have discussed the possibility of Carolina trading up for C.J. Stroud.
All that is in the not-too-distant future. As of right now, Reich must adapt to his new role quickly and get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.
The Panthers’ patience has paid off. And they can finally start looking forward to a brighter future – one that won’t be filled with outlandish claims, no accountability, and severe underachievement.
It’s been a long process, but a necessary one. Reich’s football acumen deserves a second chance and the current trend of offensive-minded coaches thriving compared to those with defensive backgrounds might tip the scales in his favor.
Reich provides hope. It also indicates Tepper is learning how to effectively run an NFL franchise after a torrid few years.
When it’s all said and done, that might be the biggest positive of all.