Carolina Panthers owner Dave Tepper lost faith in his head coach, but apparently not in the team's rookie quarterback.
During a press conference Tuesday to address Monday's firing of head coach Frank Reich, Tepper said he believes the team’s decision to select rookie quarterback Bryce Young over C.J. Stroud in the 2023 NFL draft was unanimous. He disputed reports that Reich preferred Stroud and Tepper tipped the scales, leading the team to draft Young.
"As far as Bryce young is concerned … I think everybody in the building would share this sentiment," Tepper said. "We are totally confident in that pick."
Young, the No. 1 pick, has struggled this season during the team’s 1-10 start. By comparison, Stroud, selected No. 2 by the Houston Texas, is thriving. But Tepper expressed no regrets about the Panthers’ pick.
Reich, ousted just 11 games into his tenure, became the third coach fired Tepper has fired since he took over the Panthers in 2018 and during which the Panthers are 30-63.
"Now, look, everything that’s right and everything that’s wrong here, ultimately is my fault," he said. "OK, I have the final say."
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He also insisted he has patience despite having fired all three coaches during the season.
"My reputation away from this game is one for extreme patience," he said. "… I would like to have somebody here for 20, 30 years. I’d like to have somebody that would say eulogy at my funeral in 30 years. OK, maybe it’s 40 years, I hope. That’s what I’d like to have."
Tepper did not specifically address the search for a new head coach.
What else did David Tepper say about the Panthers?
The press conference lasted about 15 minutes and Tepper fielded more than a half-dozen questions from the media.
One reporter asked if Tepper might hire a search firm or change how he managed day-to-day decisions in light of the team’s 30-63 record during his tenure as owner.
"Look, things are constantly evolving and they’ll continue to evolve," he said. "And trying to make things better is what you always try to do. Obviously that record is not good enough. There’s no hiding it. It is what it is. … We’re going to self-reflect and make it better."
Tepper talked about the decision-making process with hiring of Reich in January and drafting Young.
"I don’t really vote on those decisions until the last piece, OK?" he said. "So those decisions are made … by the football people."
But Tepper acknowledged he has the final say and veto power.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Panthers' David Tepper defends drafting Bryce Young over C.J. Stroud