The Carolina Panthers rebuild is moving in a new direction as they fired head coach Frank Reich on Monday.
The firing comes after the Panthers lost to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Reich led the Panthers to a 1-10 record, which is the worst in the league. The Panthers are 0-6 on the road. Reich is the first head coach to be fired in back-to-back years since the 1970 merger, as he was fired by the Indianapolis Colts last year.
Special teams coach Chris Tabor will be the Panthers' interim head coach.
“I met with Coach Reich this morning and informed him that he will not continue as head coach of the Carolina Panthers," Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement on Monday. "I want to thank Frank for his dedication and service, and we wish him well. Effective immediately, Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor will serve as our interim head coach. Senior Assistant Jim Caldwell will be a special advisor to Offensive Coordinator Thomas Brown, who will take over play-calling duties."
According to David Newton of ESPN, Reich became the sixth head coach in NFL history to be fired before they finished their first season with their team. Three of those instances have come in the last three years: Urban Meyer(Jacksonville Jaguars), Nathaniel Hackett(Denver Broncos), and now Reich.
While Reich’s firing isn’t surprising given the team's 1-10 record, the blame for the Panthers' struggles can’t all be put on Reich. The Panthers have one of the worst offenses in the league. They have scored 15 or fewer points in seven of 11 games, tied for second most in the NFL. Rookie quarterback Bryce Young has struggled as he ranks 29th in Total QBR with a 32.0 rating, has a passer rating of 74.9, ranks near the bottom of the league, and has been sacked 40 times. Young‘s struggles are surprising since Reich helped Carson Wentz and Nick Foles win a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017.
Reich is a good coach. The Panthers just didn’t give him a good team to be successful with.