Sports, IN SEE Culture

Take a Look in the Mirror, Tepper

The columnist listened to the press conference Tepper released on Tuesday, 11/28/23. Reporters raised questions about Tepper’s level of patience during the press conference, citing the many head coach changes, fan expectations, the team’s worst record during his tenure as owner, and potential areas for improvement.

He responded during the press conference that he had patience. 

“I do have patience. My reputation away from this game is one of extreme patience. There’s no reason why that doesn’t come here, too. Now, that patience comes with good performance and wanting to see progress made in different aspects,” said Tepper.

“I would like to have someone (coach) here for 20 or 30 years. I would like to have somebody that would say my eulogy in 30 years,” he added.

Full Press Conference of Dave Tepper addressing the firing of Coach Reid, Source; YouTube

Many critics questioned his level of patience and decision-making ability. Peter King went on the Rich Eisen Show, stating that Tepper’s speech on patience contradicts the constant coach firing and many quarterback changes.

“He owns the team in 5 years now. In the last 48 months, he had three head coaches and now three interim coaches. If that ain’t bad enough, he owns the pro soccer team in Charlotte, and he fired the two in each of the first two years. I believe there’s a pattern developing,” King stated.

“What’s crazy about this? Absolutely crazy that David Tepper, for nine years prior to buying the Panthers, owned 5% of the Pittsburgh Steelers,” King added.

However, the departure of the Panthers’ head coach as well as Duce Staley (Assistant Head Coach/Running Back Coach) and Josh McCown (Quarterback Coach) is not sufficient, particularly for weary fans. The team is now 1-11 after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday. The team faces the Saints this coming Sunday. It will take some time for the team to recover and rebuild. It’s also time for Tepper to look in the mirror and take accountability for his decision-making and the team’s direction.

According to USA Today, the Panthers have appeared in the playoffs four times in the past five seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance.

Since acquiring the team in 2018, he has experienced numerous losses and firings, including the firing of Christian Lattanzio (MLS Coach of the Charlotte FC). They have seen many quarterbacks and coaches come and go. Tepper has fired three coaches, with Reich being the latest.

The team fired Matt Rhule last year after a 1-4 start, and in 2019, they fired Ron Rivera after a 5-7 start, according to USA Today. The team is paying dead money to former Panthers coach Rhule and now Reich.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young warms up before a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. ? Jamie Sabau/USA Today Sports

Tepper did not select Steve Wilks, the interim coach from last year, for the head coach position, despite the gleam of hope most fans saw in him. Wilkes took over as interim coach after the firing of Rhule, getting the team back on track. The team was one game shy of missing the playoffs last season. As defensive coach for the 49ers, Wilkes is credited with leading the team to ranking fifth (as of Dec. 8th) in the NFL.

To make matters worse, the team doesn’t have a top pick in next year’s draft due to trading next year’s 2024 unprotected pick, including their star wide receiver, DJ Moore, late second round pick (2023) and a 2025 2nd round pick, to move from the 9th and to the number 1 spot to draft Alabama Quarterback, Bryce Young. Rumors circulated of Reich wanting to draft CJ Stroud, who is the clear favorite to win offensive rookie of the year, but Tepper was high on Young. Tepper addressed those rumors, stating that staff were adamant and confident in their decision to draft Young.

Bryce Young and Dave Tepper embraces after his arrival in Charlotte; Courtesy of Carolinas Sports Hub

Social media posts say he’s becoming the next Dan Snyder (Former Washington Redskins now Commanders Owner) of the NFL. Since acquiring the team in 2018, the team has yet to have a winning season.

The season is nearing its end. The team is now 30-64 under Tepper, which is the second worse record in the league behind the New York Jets (28-65). With the losses and no playoff appearance since acquiring the team, it’s time for Tepper to take accountability, self-reflect on his decision-making ability, and do whatever is needed for improvement.

Panther fans, do you agree or disagree with Tepper saying that he has patience?

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