Dan Morgan opened his press conference this morning, alongside new head coach Dave Canales, with one goal: to tell Panthers fans that a new culture was coming to town. Most importantly, from a fan’s perspective, it’s a culture that we will recognize.
He shouted out guys like Thomas Davis, Jonathan Stewart, and Muhsin Muhammad—all of whom were in attendance—as well as Luke Kuechly, Steve Smith, and Jake Delhomme. Morgan knows his Panthers history and wanted to put it front and center in his opening statements. He said that he wanted his Carolina Panthers to have “a family environment.”
This is welcome news to Panthers’ fans who were worried about the de-emphasis of the Keep Pounding tradition under former head coach Matt Rhule.
Morgan knows better.
He knows the value of a hard nosed football culture. He specifically outlined that the team “needs play makers” and called for “guys with the instincts and tenacity of Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly.”
Dan Morgan with an homage to some of the Panthers greats. pic.twitter.com/1yvcv5oaVI— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) February 1, 2024
Morgan played with the Panthers from 2001 to 2007, where the franchise was built on a stout defense and a reliable running game. They were physical teams, and he recognizes the need to go back to those roots. “We need toughness and physicality,” Morgan said this morning, “to put it frankly, we haven’t had enough of that.”
He is going to build that team with patience and careful evaluation. Both he and Canales spoke highly of their opinions of each other as talent evaluators. He will also be helped by yesterday’s hire of Brandt Tilis as executive vice president of football operations from the Kansas City Chiefs.
That’s how Morgan is going to build a family environment, an environment that he wants to build in service of one goal. Morgan brought intensity and focus to the press conference, but he was most fired up about one topic while speaking:
On the 20th Anniversary of his remarkable Super Bowl 38 performance, new Panthers GM Dan Morgan with a powerful message. Wants to bring the 2003 energy back. pic.twitter.com/htLe7F5u6J— John Ellis (@1PantherPlace) February 1, 2024
That’s who is now leading the Carolina Panthers. That Dan Morgan is now in charge of the Keep Pounding legacy.