Frank Reich talks Panthers firing, says ‘probably the final chapter’ in NFL career

Frank Reich talks Panthers firing
Frank Reich said his NFL coaching career is likely over after he was fired by the Panthers. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Frank Reich appeared to be a capable NFL head coach not too long ago. It looks like his time in the NFL is up.

Following a 1-10 start, Reich was let go by the Carolina Panthers on Monday. It is a unique and unwanted accomplishment that he has now been dismissed in each of the last two seasons. The Indianapolis Colts fired him during the previous season.

After being sacked, Reich had his first interview with Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer, but Reich refused to tell Fowler he was done coaching. “This is probably the final chapter of my NFL journey,” he did acknowledge, though.

Reich, though, didn’t hold Panthers owner David Tepper accountable for any of the terrible things that happened this season.

Frank Reich doesn’t blame David Tepper

Earlier in the season, Reich made remarks about Tepper that appeared disparaging. He claimed to have had tense and awkward discussions over the team with Tepper.

When he talked with Fowler on Monday, he was all praise for Tepper. He claimed to be thinking only good things about Tepper, someone he respected and cared for. The termination didn’t seem to surprise him.

“It’s not unconditional love,” Reich told Fowler. “I understand from a professional standpoint Mr. Tepper is going to have certain standards that he expects to have met. I have no hard feelings, and my personal relationship with him was actually a real highlight of this short time.”

The fact that Bryce Young, the No.1 overall pick, has failed this season while C.J. Stroud, the second pick, is doing well with the Houston Texans, has not helped Reich, a former NFL quarterback. If Young had been performing well but the Panthers were not winning, Reich’s continued employment would have been justified by his growth.

However, Tepper isn’t a patient man, and Young wasn’t playing well. For Reich, who turns 62 on December 4, it could be the end.

Reich had a good start as a head coach

Reich’s football career has been noteworthy. He will always be connected to the Buffalo Bills and their greatest-ever playoff comeback against the Houston Oilers. Reich also engineered the biggest comeback in college football history at the time, against Miami, while he was at Maryland.

Reich got into coaching, and the Colts hired him as head coach after he excelled as the offensive coordinator for the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, who won a Super Bowl. He was 37-28 over his four seasons with the Colts, including two postseason trips, despite the lack of consistency at quarterback after Andrew Luck’s retirement. After going 3-5-1 with the Colts the previous season, he was dismissed. This season, he went 1-10 with Carolina before being let go.

Reich seemed OK if this was the end of his coaching career. It certainly helps to have a four-year guaranteed contract from the Panthers with over three years remaining on it.

“The way the doors opened up for it was amazing,” Reich told Fowler. “But there’s not always a storybook ending…. I also take comfort and find peace and strength that there is a next chapter of my life. I do believe that. I do believe God ordains our steps.”

Credits: Yahoo Sports

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