Panthers: Frank Reich’s firing preceded by ‘Hunger Games’ backstabbing

After Frank Reich got fired by Panthers owner David Tepper sources inside the organization likened the culture to the ‘Hunger Games.’

Frank Reich’s head coaching career with the Carolina Panthers was one of the shortest in NFL history, having been dismissed after just 11 games on the job. How did this come about? The dysfunctional culture that owner David Tepper cultivated within the Panthers, which some have even likened to the Hunger Games, is the cause, according to players and coaches on the team.

“Team sources described a ‘Hunger Games’ culture at Bank of America Stadium. Coaches said they believed other staff members were text messaging Tepper behind Reich’s back about issues they saw with the team.” Joseph

Person wrote an exposé for The Athletic with Dianna Russini as the reporter. “On one occasion, Tepper received a coaching recommendation for the quarterback from general manager Scott Fitterer and an offensive coach.”

The sources “painted a picture of dysfunction inside the Panthers’ offices, with assistant coaches undermining other coaches as many went into self-preservation mode when it became clear Reich’s days were numbered,” according to the reporters who spoke with “more than 20 Panthers coaches, players, and other league sources, some of whom were granted anonymity so they could speak freely.”

The Panthers are one of the worst franchises in the NFL right now

David Tepper surrounded by angry Carolina Panthers fans

This drama that led to Frank Reich getting fired by David Tepper is just the latest black eye for the Panthers, who have gone through three head coaches (and two interim coaches) since Tepper bought the team in 2018.

Carolina is presently 1-11 on the season, and as a result of the transaction that included Bryce Young this offseason, its 2024 first-round pick—now ranked No. 1 overall—is going to the Chicago Bears.

The Panthers are presently in contention to be the worst NFL team due to their subpar on-field performance and dysfunctional front office, albeit the Arizona Cardinals currently retain the title after Daniel Snyder sold the Washington Commanders this offseason.

Tepper’s next coach will have a difficult task in trying to turn things around, and the team may be in trouble for years to come if he fails.


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