Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper left more questions than answers following a brief presser in the wake of Frank Reich's firing.
This was another dent in Tepper's plans to finally get Carolina to the top table. Especially given their bold claims that the NFC South title was well within reach after landmark alterations to the coaching infrastructure and trading up for quarterback Bryce Young.
Fans wanted answers. There has been no legitimate football success since Tepper bought the team from Jerry Richardson. No winning season. Visiting fans packing the stands to negate any home-field advantage at Bank of America Stadium. No concise plan for sustainable success.
David Tepper's presser was nothing more than an ego boost
What did we get from Tepper during his brief media availability? Some accountability that the buck stops with him, but it was all clichés, deflections, and blind ignorance after that.
Instead of putting the fanbase at ease, Tepper decided to allocate his time to what he's done right.
Expectations were low, but this was something else. Tepper deflected every major question related to football matters, pleading the fifth and saying plans would be staying in-house when the long-suffering support was eager to get a small inkling into the thought process.
With all due respect to the Charlotte Business Journal, planting a reporter from the publication front and center to speak about the economic impact Tepper's made since becoming owner was calculated. It reeked of a man wanting to boost his ego rather than face the music of countless failures meddling in football-related affairs.
As always, he went back to bringing concerts to Charlotte and how his patience away from the Panthers is renowned among his staff.
Tepper even took credit for Lionel Messi coming to play Charlotte FC. Forgive me, but I must have missed the part where he was involved in the world's greatest soccer player's contract negotiations and his influence on picking the Inter Miami team.
News to me.
The fact Tepper refused questions from respected beat writers such as Scott Fowler, Sheena Quick, and Vashti Hurt indicated that the billionaire didn't want to be challenged. He didn't want any hard questions. He wanted to be spoon-fed with his crooked tie and provide ready-made answers to let politicians know his worth when the time comes to ask for public funds.
Even when Joe Person of The Athletic asked a question about general manager Scott Fitterer's future, Tepper didn't answer as he hastily left the conference room.
This is more like Communist China than an NFL franchise. The house that Tepper built.
Tepper is evolving into New York Knicks owner James Dolan before our very eyes. Always needs his ego soothing. Taking almost no accountability for any failure. Speaking on anything but the actual question.
It's embarrassing. And the fact Tepper's presser was so short is a classic PR move to prevent the owner from putting his foot in his mouth any further.
For fans, it's frustrating beyond measure. They love the Panthers. They want a team to be proud of. They want a winning product. They want to contend.
That's further away than ever before. And Tepper is the man to blame above all else.