Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich has been relieved of his duties according to a letter written by owner David Tepper that was posted to the team’s social media accounts.
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will act as the interim head coach. Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown will get to function as a more traditional offensive coordinator and will call the plays. Jim Caldwell will be a special advisor to the position.
The move to elevate Tabor to the interim head coaching spot is probably a little surprising given some of the other names on the staff, but it’s a justifiable choice. Tabor’s special teams units have been a bright spot for the Panthers in his two seasons with the team, and he’s been widely regarded as one of the best special teams coaches in the league for well over a decade. Now he gets a chance to prove his mettle as a head coach.
The 11 game tenure for Reich is the second shortest tenure in terms of regular season games for a coach in an NFL history, better than only Pete McCulley of the 1978 San Francisco 49ers, who coached nine games.
It’s a shocking move only due to its timing, but it was probably something that needed to be done at some point. The Panthers have been a dumpster fire this year, particularly on offense, where Reich is supposed to specialize. The Panthers have routinely come under fire in the sports media world for their poor planning and antiquated, uncreative offensive scheme. We’ll see if that changes under new leadership.