The first domino in the 2023 NFL coaching carousel has fallen, and it belongs to the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers are hiring former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich for the vacancy. Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer reported that the deal is for four years. Reich was hired over interim coach Steve Wilks and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
#Panthers agree to terms with Frank Reich to become new head coach pic.twitter.com/spUljJKdBz
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 26, 2023
Reich is most known for his work as the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016-18. Working with quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, the Eagles had the second-best scoring offense in 2017, the season that they won the Super Bowl. He was then hired by the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 and proceeded to go 40-33-1 from 2018-22, making two playoff appearances. He was fired after a 3-5-1 start to the 2022 season, being replaced by Jeff Saturday.
Interestingly enough, Reich, a former NFL quarterback, started the first three games in the Panthers’ inaugural season in 1995.
The Carolina Panthers have consistently struggled over the past five seasons. Reich succeeds Matt Rhule, who was fired five games into the season this year. The Panthers have had five straight losing seasons since their last playoff appearance in 2017. This season, they went 7-10, the most wins since 2018, despite them starting three different quarterbacks. They have the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, and after bringing in multiple veterans, they likely get younger at the position.