3 biggest upgrades on the Carolina Panthers in 2023

- Man at the top

- Football's most important position

- A surprise

Frank Reich
Frank Reich / Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

Frank Reich - Carolina Panthers HC

We won't spend column inches highlighting the previous regime being unfit for purpose almost from the moment they came into the Carolina Panthers. After all, the three years of excuses, poor decisions, inept football, and no accountability spoke for themselves.

David Tepper finally saw the decision to hire Matt Rule for the grave error it was after an embarrassing loss against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5. Steve Wilks did an admirable job in the immediate aftermath, but the chance to hire Carolina's first offensive-minded head coach in franchise history was too tempting to ignore.

As it turned out, Tepper found someone who had strong connections to the Panthers organization. Frank Reich was the team's first quarterback during their inaugural campaign, threw the first touchdown pass, and remained deeply rooted in the Charlotte area long after his retirement.

He knows what makes this franchise tick right down to its roots. The Keep Pounding mantra is front and center once again, with Reich also inviting former players to practice often and allowing them to get their messages across by speaking to the current generation.

Reich's football mind, ability to mold an elite-level coaching staff, and raised professionalism have been a breath of fresh air. A far cry from the bumbling one-man show that ran an NFL organization like a fledgling college program with little in the way of success.

The proof is in the pudding, as the old saying goes. But it would be a huge disappointment if Reich's hiring and the moves that followed don't result in some progress next season.