NFL

Panthers hire Frank Reich as new head coach

By Sports Desk January 26, 2023

The Carolina Panthers have reached an agreement with Frank Reich to take over as their new head coach.

Reich, a former Panthers quarterback who started the first three games of the franchise’s inaugural season in 1995, spent four seasons as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts before being fired nine games into the 2022 campaign.

The 61-year-old becomes the sixth permanent head coach in Panthers history and the first with an offensive background, a likely selling point for an organisation that has been marred by instability at quarterback since it last reached the playoffs in 2017.

Reich compiled a 40-33 regular-season record with Indianapolis and reached the playoffs in 2018 and 2020.

The Colts finished 9-8 in 2021 but failed to make the postseason after a stunning loss to a 2-14 Jacksonville Jaguars team in the finale, and got off to a 3-5-1 start this season when Reich was dismissed on November 7.

Prior to taking over the Colts, Reich served as the offensive coordinator during the Philadelphia Eagles' 2017 championship season and was instrumental in the development of quarterback Carson Wentz, who finished third in MVP voting after throwing for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns in his second NFL campaign.

The Panthers own the number nine pick in this year's draft and are expected to strongly consider taking a young quarterback after finishing 27th in the NFL in passer rating while starting three players (Baker Mayfield, P.J. Walker, Sam Darnold) at the position.

Mayfield was ultimately released in December and Darnold is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Reich fills a void created when Matt Ruhle was fired five games into the season after going 11-27 in two-plus years.

Interim coach Steve Wilks, who went 6-6 after Ruhle's ousting to move Carolina within one game of NFC South champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reportedly was a finalist for the permanent job before team owner David Tepper decided on Reich.

According to NFL.com, Wilks is expected to pursue other opportunities and will not remain on staff.

The Panthers are the first of five teams that let go of head coaches during or after the 2022 season to name a replacement. The Colts, the Arizona Cardinals, the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans are still looking to fill vacancies. 

Related items

  • NFL reveals full 2024 schedule NFL reveals full 2024 schedule

    The entire 2024 NFL schedule is now set.

    While all the matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2023 regular season, and some games were revealed in the last few days, the league released the remainder of the schedule on Wednesday.

    The latest schedule update included the American Thanksgiving triple-header featuring the Chicago Bears visiting the Detroit Lions, followed by the New York Giants at the Dallas Cowboys and wrapping up with the Miami Dolphins travelling to Green Bay to face the Packers.

    The following day on Black Friday, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will host the Las Vegas Raiders.

    Earlier in the day, the NFL announced the five international games and the Christmas Day doubleheader.

    Christmas, which falls on a Wednesday, will see the Chiefs visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers, followed by the Houston Texans hosting the Baltimore Ravens.

    On Boxing Day, the Chicago Bears will host the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.

    The Chiefs and Ravens will kick off the season in Kansas City on September 5 in a rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game.

    The following night, the NFL will play its first game in South America with the Philadelphia Eagles and Packers squaring off in São Paulo, Brazil.

    The first Sunday Night game of the season features the Detroit Lions hosting the Los Angeles Rams in a rematch of their thrilling wild-card game.

    The first Monday Night Football game will see Aaron Rodgers make his return after rupturing his Achilles tendon just four snaps into his Jets career with New York visiting the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers.

    Other Week 1 highlights include Russell Wilson appearing in his first game for the Steelers, as Pittsburgh visits the Atlanta Falcons, and No. 1 pick Caleb Williams making his NFL debut with the Chicago Bears hosting the Tennessee Titans.

    Other rookie quarterbacks likely to take the field in Week 1 include No. 2 pick Jayden Daniels and the Washington Commanders visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, No. 3 pick Drake Maye and the New England Patriots visiting the Cincinnati Bengals, and J.J. McCarthy, the 10th overall pick, of the Minnesota Vikings visiting the Giants.

    The Jim Harbaugh era in Los Angeles begins with the Chargers hosting the Raiders.

     

  • Jets-Vikings among NFL's international games Jets-Vikings among NFL's international games

    Aaron Rodgers will meet an old rival in a new uniform as one of five International Games matchups announced by the NFL on Wednesday. 

    Rodgers' New York Jets will take on the Minnesota Vikings at London's Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 6, one of three games that will take place in the United Kingdom capital in 2024.

    The International Series will kick off on the league's opening weekend with a clash between Rodgers' former team, the Green Bay Packers, and the Philadelphia Eagles in São Paulo, Brazil on Friday, Sept. 6. That game will be the first of any kind held by the NFL in South America, as well as the first to take place on a Friday during Week 1 in more than 50 years.

    The Jacksonville Jaguars will take part in the other two games held in London, and could face a rookie quarterback in each. Jacksonville will host the Chicago Bears at Tottenham Stadium on Oct. 13 and will meet the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium one week later on Oct. 20.

    Chicago selected 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams with the first overall pick in this year's draft, while the Patriots chose North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with the third overall pick.

    The Jaguars have been involved in more international games than any NFL team, as this season's matchups will be the 12th and 13th played in London in franchise history.

    Munich, Germany will host the final 2024 international game when the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers square off at Allianz Arena on Nov. 10.

    "We are delighted to announce these exciting matchups across London and Munich, in addition to the historic first game in São Paulo, Brazil, to complete the 2024 International Games slate," NFL executive vice president of club business, major events & international Peter O'Reilly said in a league press release. “As the league and its 32 teams continue to prioritise international growth, we look forward to building on the incredible fan experiences seen in Europe while taking the game to new fans in South America."

    The Giants-Panthers contest will be the second to take place in Munich during the regular season, with the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers having met at Allianz Arena in 2022. The NFL staged two games in Frankfurt last season, including a 21-14 victory by the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs over the Miami Dolphins. 

    The NFL also announced on Wednesday that the Giants will be the featured team for its popular Hard Knocks television documentary series to be broadcast in July. This season's episodes will chronicle the team's day-to-day operations during this offseason.

    Additionally, the league announced that its two Christmas Day games of the 2024 season will be broadcast by streaming service giant Netflix. 

    The participants of those two games will be announced when the NFL reveals its full 2024 schedule at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday. 

  • Buccaneers, Antoine Winfield Jr. agree to four-year, $84M deal Buccaneers, Antoine Winfield Jr. agree to four-year, $84M deal

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed safety Antoine Winfield Jr. to a four-year, $84.1million contract extension, Winfield’s agent announced Monday.

    The contract makes Winfield the NFL’s highest-paid defensive back and the first safety to ever hold that distinction.

    Winfield’s contract includes $45m in guaranteed money. He had been scheduled to make about $17m next season under the franchise tag.

    Winfield’s agent David Mulugheta posted the news on social media with a screen capture of the moment he informed Winfield that the deal was done.

    "Couldn't be happier to make this call and let Antoine know he just made HISTORY! The first time that a safety is the highest-paid defensive back in the NFL," Mulugheta wrote.

    "In a year where the value of safeties has been questioned, the Buccaneer Organization, the Glazer Family and GM Jason Licht have stepped up and taken care of one of their most valuable family members.

    "Congratulations Antoine, you have accomplished something that has never been done before. You will forever be etched in history as the first. I appreciate your trust and cannot wait to see you back on the field."

    Winfield, 25, is the son of retired defensive back Antoine Winfield Sr. and was drafted by the Buccaneers in the second round in 2020.

    The 2023 All-Pro has become one of the best and most versatile defensive backs in the league and is coming off his best season.

    In 17 games last season, Winfield set career bests with six sacks, three interceptions, 12 pass deflections, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

    Winfield is the latest key contributor to be signed to an extension by the Buccaneers this offseason. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, wide receiver Mike Evans and linebacker Lavonte David all signed deals this spring to remain with Tampa Bay.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.