Could Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper start wielding the axe if the team suffers another primetime loss at the Chicago Bears in Week 10?
Despite what many will tell you, David Tepper is not a patient man. This is often to his detriment, with another casualty surfacing this week when the billionaire parted ways with Charlotte FC head coach Christian Lattanzio despite making their debut appearance in the MLS Playoffs.
Tepper is impulsive and reactionary. However, this hasn't transitioned to the Carolina Panthers as yet.
He gave Ron Rivera a chance before inevitably moving on. He kept then-general manager Marty Hurney around despite the new head coach coming in. He clung onto Matt Rhule for way too long as the final guy to figure out this wasn't going to end well.
Don't expect Carolina Panthers changes from David Tepper
This could be down to his ego and how it's perceived among NFL owners. Nobody likes to be the perennial bottom-feeder in a room that's full of men who've enjoyed phenomenal success in their respective career choices, which is why some analysts believe he'll keep faith with head coach Frank Reich and others in positions of power.
Canning Reich so soon into his tenure represents Tepper admitting he was wrong again. But with the Panthers sitting at 1-7 heading into tonight's game against the Chicago Bears, the situation is a precarious one.
This was a topic brought by by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN recently. While the senior insider didn't think Reich's seat was especially warm right now, there are murmurings around the league that this could change if results don't improve accordingly.
"Do I think he's in trouble at this moment? No. But a few people I talked to last week openly wondered whether he would be on thin ice."- Jeremy Fowler, ESPN
Dan Graziano also weighed in with a similar thought process on Reich. However, the insider lent support to the claims general manager Scott Fitterer might be in the firing line if Carolina cannot turn things around quickly.
"I wonder a little bit about GM Scott Fitterer, as it can't be sitting well with ownership that No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud looks so much better so far than No. 1 pick Bryce Young, but I have no inside information to indicate that owner David Tepper is upset enough to fire people. We'll stay tuned there, but as of now, I'd say that would be a shocker."- Dan Graziano, ESPN
Again, there's been no sign from the Panthers that anyone's job is in jeopardy - at least for now. Fitterer was Tepper's first general manager hire, so he might hold onto him for longer than needed like the owner did with Rhule when it's all said and done.
Fitterer's claims of something special brewing and NFC South title contention with a new quarterback are coming back to haunt him. If the Panthers go from these expectations to handing over the No. 1 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, it would be an absolute disgrace.
Fans want something done. Whether that involves Tepper dismissing another member of the front office or nudging Reich into firing a position coach rather than something bigger is the million-dollar question.
Losing to a Chicago Bears team that holds Carolina's No. 1 overall pick would be embarrassing. Especially given quarterback Justin Fields won't be playing and the NFC North team is struggling to generate any sort of momentum currently.
All this speculation isn't doing the Panthers any favors. Unfortunately for those in power, that's what happens when you promise the earth with almost no substance attached whatsoever.
Tepper and his wife Nicole are not without blame, either. Both have been influential in football matters they have no business involving themselves in except to oversee and approve, yet they love nothing more than being front and center.
Except when things are going wrong, of course.
All fans can do is hope this sinking ship can somehow get out of its current rut. If not, then they'll wait to see if Tepper puts his ego to one side and does what is best for the franchise.
Just don't expect any landmark alterations no matter which way the Panthers' result goes on Thursday Night Football.