Posted on: November 27, 2023, 01:58h. 

Last updated on: November 27, 2023, 02:19h.

The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Frank Reich after only 11 games, which marks the shortest tenure for a head coach since 1978.

Panthers head coach Frank Reich
Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich advises rookie quarterback Bryce Young on the sidelines during a timeout. (Image: Getty)

The Panthers have the worst record in the NFL at 1-10.

In 1978, Pete McCulley got his walking papers nine games into the season after he led the San Francisco 49ers to a 1-8 start.

Reich joins Josh McDaniels from the Las Vegas Raiders as the only head coaches fired in the middle of the 2023 season.

Matt Eberflus from the Chicago Bears has been on the hot seat all season. Eberflus is still the betting favorite to lose his job, yet remains the Bears’ head coach despite a 3-8 record.

Owner Tepper Fires Head Coach in Back-to-Back Seasons

The Tennessee Titans defeated the Panthers, 17-10, on Sunday in Week 12. The Panthers lost their fourth game in a row, sinking to 1-10 on the season.

Team owner David Tepper attended the road game in Nashville and wasn’t pleased with the team’s start this season.

I met with Coach Reich this morning and informed him that he will not continue as head coach of the Carolina Panthers,” Tepper said in an official statement. “I want to thank Frank for his dedication and service, and we wish him well.”

Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor was named the interim head coach. Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown remains with the Panthers, but he was stripped of his play-calling duties. Senior Assistant Jim Caldwell will take over as the play-caller.

Fans were surprised that defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero wasn’t named the interim head coach. Evero was on the shortlist of potential head coaching candidates last offseason, and he’s expected to land a head coaching job in the near future. Tepper passed over Evero in favor of the special teams coach.

For the second season in a row, the Panthers fired a head coach. Tepper fired Matt Rhule only five games into last season after a 1-4 start. Rhule never had a chance to complete his third season as their head coach. The Panthers struggled with an 11-27 record during Rhule’s brief tenure.

Tepper purchased the Panthers in 2018 for $2.2 billion. The Panthers are 30-63, and have yet to post a winning season since Tepper bought the team.

Reich Fired in Consecutive Seasons

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay fired Reich in the middle of last season. Reich led the Colts to a 3-5-1 record through the first nine games of the 2022 season before Irsay decided to shake things up.

Reich posted a winning record at 40-33-1 with the Colts, but only made it halfway through his fifth season. He had five different starting quarterbacks in five seasons with the Colts, yet still found a way to win. He led the Colts to two playoff berths, but they were only 1-2 in the postseason.

The Panthers wanted to hire Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson in the offseason, but Johnson remained in Detroit to continue to work under head coach Dan Campbell.

After an exhaustive search, the Panthers decided to give Reich a shot. He was hired based on his offensive prowess, and his ability to work with young quarterbacks.

After his disastrous stint with the Panthers, Reich now has a career coaching record of 41-43-1.

Reich is a former NFL quarterback who spent several seasons with the Buffalo Bills as a backup behind Hall of Fame star Jim Kelly. As a coach, Reich won Super Bowl LII as the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the OC under head coach Doug Pederson, and the two won the Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles after starter Carson Wentz sustained a season-ending knee injury.

Reich becomes only the third head coach to lose his job in back-to-back seasons. He joins Chip Kelly (Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 and San Francisco 49ers in 2016), and Ray Rhodes (Eagles in 1998 and Green Bay Packers in 1999).

Reich Wanted Stroud, Tepper Wanted Young

The Panthers had the #9 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft but traded up to acquire the #1 pick from the Chicago Bears. Tepper gambled on an aggressive trade to select a franchise quarterback.

Reich and other coaches suggested the Panthers draft C.J. Stroud from Ohio State, but Tepper insisted on making Bryce Young from Alabama the #1 pick. Tepper ignored the experts on his staff, and the move backfired.

Young struggled in his rookie season with the Panthers. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans selected Stroud with the #2 pick, and he’s the betting favorite to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year after a standout season.

With Young at quarterback, the Panthers had the fourth-lowest scoring offense in the NFL, averaging 15.7 points per game.

Young hasn’t lived up to expectations, but he plays behind one of the most ineffective offensive lines in the NFL. He also has very few offensive weapons, because the Panthers traded away dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers prior to last season’s deadline. Without a viable running back, the Panthers were tied for the fewest rushing touchdowns in the NFL with just three.

The Panthers also traded wide receiver D.J. Moore to the Bears as part of the huge deal to move up in the draft to select Young. The Bears own the rights to the Panthers’ first-round draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, which is currently projected as the #1 pick.

Betting the Hapless Panthers

The Panthers are the worst betting team in the NFL this season with a 1-8-2 record against the point spread.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Panthers in Week 13, and the Bucs are -5 favorites even though quarterback Baker Mayfield is banged up. The points total in the Panthers/Bucs is 37 over/under. The under is 8-3 for the low-scoring Panthers this season.

The Panthers are +100000 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII, and they’re still on the futures board despite winning only one game.

When the season began, the Panthers were +8000 odds to win the Super Bowl.

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