The Carolina Panthers found their new head coach, as they have officially hired former Indianapolis Colts lead man Frank Reich. Reich appeared to be one of the dark horses during this coaching cycle, since he has experience as a leader and can't be completely blamed for how his tenure ended in Indy. Additionally, Reich is a perfect fit for the Panthers, as he's very familiar with the city of Charlotte and the franchise.
Reich quarterbacked three games for the Panthers during their inaugural season in 1995 and actually threw the first touchdown in franchise history. The offensive-minded coach is someone who can bring stability to that side of the ball, which would pair nicely with the kind of talent the Panthers possess on defense.
On Tuesday, Reich was officially introduced as the sixth head coach in Panthers franchise history. Here are some of the important topics he touched on at his introductory press conference:
Reich's pillars: If you're curious what Reich is focused on when it comes to the guiding principles of this franchise, he laid it out in his opening statement. There are four pillars for building a championship franchise: Ownership/organization, players, coaches and fans.
Reich also delivered a message to his new players, saying they will abide by three primary principles: The relentless pursuit to get better every day, competition in everything they do and "the team, the team, the team." The team always comes first.
'Secret sauce': Reich is an offensive mind, which is certainly a reason why he was hired by owner David Tepper, but he's very aware of how good the Panthers' young defense is. In fact, he called it the "secret sauce" and something Carolina can build around.
"Create and build upon the momentum that we have here," Reich said. "The players, the roster that we have here on defense. Get the right coaches so we have the right scheme that accentuate their gifts."
Will Reich call plays?: "I'm going to wait to see that we get the offensive staff together," Reich said. "Obviously I've always enjoyed doing that, felt like I've had a good bit of success doing that and enjoyed doing that. It feels to me there's a little bit of a trend going away from that, I want to continue to reexamine that, and it just depends on how the staff comes together and the coordinator thing. I'm excited about the prospects of some of the guys that are out there that could be our offensive coordinator, so I'll wait to make the final decision on that."
What will Carolina do at QB?: Reich was asked whether his experience with the Colts has him leaning towards drafting a quarterback as opposed to cycling through veterans -- which didn't work out in Indy. Reich didn't directly answer the question, saying that "you have to have stability at quarterback" and that he and the front office will create a blueprint for what they want at the position.
Offensive philosophies: "It's a passing league, but you have to run the ball to be a championship team," Reich said.
The Panthers new head coach said that how Carolina ran the ball in 2022 is actually one of the reasons why he's excited about this roster, because guys like D'Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard flashed at times behind the improved offensive line. The passing game is built off of the run. From the run-pass option to play action, if you can't run the ball effectively, you're in trouble.
Interestingly enough, when Reich was asked what went wrong in Indy, he again pointed to the run game, and how it "disappeared" in 2022. The lack of success on the ground hurt the Colts passing game, and Reich took responsibility for that.
Reich's appreciation for mobile quarterbacks: Reich was asked about the type of quarterback he prefers -- whether it be a "running-style" quarterback or a "traditional" drop-back type of signal-caller. He did not attempt to hide his appreciation for dual-threat weapons in a lengthy answer.
Frank Reich on what he likes in a quarterback.— Carolina Blitz (@KeepBlitzin) January 31, 2023
On a personal note: This was my favorite answer of the day. Really got a sense of who he is and his football philosophy. pic.twitter.com/N591AmWOSv
This is where the game is going, according to Reich. Let the speculation on C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and the other young quarterbacks available in the 2023 NFL Draft begin.