5 Carolina Panthers fighting for their futures at 2023 midseason point

It's not gone according to plan...
Frank Reich
Frank Reich / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Frank Reich - Carolina Panthers HC

The fact Frank Reich's future is being discussed just nine games into his head coaching tenure is a testament to how poor things have gone for the Carolina Panthers this season. Something not even the biggest pessimist would have predicted.

The experienced figure came with a big reputation and fresh hope for better fortunes, using his connections to bring in the finest coaches and making a daring move up to No. 1 overall for Bryce Young - a player seen as the missing piece of the puzzle. Reich is a nice guy and cares a great deal, but the football product can be politely described as uninspired up to now.

Offensively, it's a mess. There is no invention, no cohesion, no significant adjustments. Something that has Reich contemplating the idea of taking back play-calling responsibilities from offensive coordinator Thomas Brown after just three games.

Many respected insiders such as Dianna Russini of The Athletic seem to believe that it will take a monumental turnaround for Reich to keep his job. Others such as Ian Rapoport suggest that his future is directly related to Young's growth.

Either way, it's something to monitor closely over the next eight games. Carolina's general manager Scott Fitterer boldly predicted that the Panthers didn't plan on picking in the top 10 again - what he didn't expect was the prospect of handing over the No. 1 pick to the Chicago Bears, instead.

If the Panthers cannot dig themselves out of a pretty significant hole, David Tepper is impulsive enough to act. Even if this does mean admitting defeat with yet another head coach during his ownership.