Why NFL Fans Are Siding With Carolina Panthers Coach Frank Reich Following His Firing


Nov. 28 2023, Published 3:14 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper fired Frank Reich as head coach on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.
  • Fans and NFL analysts believe David forced quarterback Bryce Young on the team when Frank wanted C.J. Stroud, now a Houston Texans player.
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The Carolina Panthers drafted quarterback Bryce Young in the 2023 NFL Draft, but did Frank Reich actually want C.J. Stroud to QB for the team?

Video evidence would suggest so, as All Panthers reports. For example, there’s footage of Frank, now the Panthers’ former head coach, shooting video of C.J. at Ohio State University before the draft. And then there’s the video clip in which it sounds like Panthers QB coach Josh McCown talks to C.J., whom the Houston Texans ultimately drafted, about living in Charlotte, N.C.

Frank actually addressed the C.J.-versus-Bryce question just days before he was fired…

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Frank Reich said he likes C.J. Stroud but always had eyes for Bryce Young.

Before the Panthers faced off against the Texans on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, Frank assured reporters that the team “got the guy we wanted to get,” per Panthers Wire.

C.J. Stroud on the field
Source: NFL

C.J. Stroud

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“And couldn’t be happier about that, in every way,” he added. “And I would say this — I’m happy for C.J. He’s had six good games, and I have no doubt he’ll have many more good games. But I know this — when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks or any position, it’s years, not weeks. You can’t put a label on a guy after six weeks, or even a year.”

Frank explained that he has seen NFL players go from the Pro Bowl to “fighting to be a backup,” and that what coaches look for is “sustained success.”

He went on: “I like C.J. Stroud a lot. I’ve said this many times — I like that whole quarterback draft. I think they were all really good prospects. I think they’re all gonna have really good NFL careers.”

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But Frank emphasized that his eyes “were on Bryce Young, from start to finish.”

He said: “You look at the film, you talk to the man, you get a sense for the leader, the player, and what he is and what he can be and how he fits to what we want to do in the vision we have as an offense, as a team, and as an organization. We got the guy for us.”

Now that Frank has been fired, fans are blaming Panthers owner David Tapper, saying he forced Bryce Young on the team.

Some NFL analysts believe that Frank wanted C.J. and that it was Panthers owner David Tepper who wanted Bryce, according to All Panthers. And after David announced on X on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, that he had fired Frank — following a 1–10 record in the season so far — football fans are blaming David for the upheaval, as Bleacher Report notes.

“Panthers firing their coach after one year, when the coaching staff wanted C.J. Stroud but the owner forced Bryce Young on them is wild,” one person wrote on X.

“Bro got Bryce Young forced on him and it cost him his job, smh,” another person wrote, reacting to the news of Frank’s firing.

And OutKick columnist Dan Zaksheske wrote, “David Tepper wanted Bryce Young. Frank Reich wanted C.J. Stroud. The relationship never recovered. Tepper is a micromanaging boss, and those are incredibly difficult to work for. That’s what the next coach of the Carolina Panthers is facing.”

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