Panthers owner: 'We are totally confident' in No. 1 pick Bryce Young
Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is still all in on No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young after firing head coach Frank Reich amid serious struggles on offense.
"As far as Bryce Young is concerned ... I cannot say this, you know, for myself, and I think everybody in this would share this sentiment ... We are totally confident in that pick," Tepper told reporters Tuesday, according to NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano.
The Panthers swung a pre-draft deal with the Chicago Bears and moved up to the No. 1 pick to select Young. But their investment hasn't gone as hoped. The Alabama product has started his career with nine touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a 74.9 passer rating. Making matters worse, the Panthers sent a 2024 first-round pick to the Bears in the trade that would currently be the first overall selection.
Tepper revealed there was initially a different plan in which the Panthers would get the No. 2 selection and take C.J. Stroud, who is in the midst of an impressive rookie campaign.
"Originally we were gonna go to the No. 2 pick and we thought we'd get C.J., because we thought the Texans were gonna pick Bryce," Tepper added, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. "And listen, we preferred Bryce. He was our No. 1 pick. We had a lot of conviction."
Young's disappointing start, along with the offense's struggles, led to the termination of Reich just 11 games into his first season as head coach. Carolina is 1-10 with an offense that ranks 29th in scoring and 30th in yardage.
Reich became the third head coach to be fired midseason since Tepper took over the Panthers' ownership in 2018. It's also the second straight year he has dismissed a head coach after Matt Rhule's removal last season. Despite the constant changes in leadership, Tepper defended himself against criticism of his impatience.
"In other aspects of my life, we have people for 20-30 years who work for me," the owner said, per USA Today's Jori Epstein." No one ever leaves me. I do have patience. My reputation away from this game is one of extreme patience."
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor is taking control of head coaching duties for the rest of the season.