CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina PanthersWednesday saw David Tepper, owner of the team, speak to reporters, his first since Matt Rhule's first two seasons at 5-11 and 5-12. He also gave his strong support to his head coach.
Tepper reminded Rhule of the fact that, when he was offered a seven year deal in January 2020, he stated it could take five more years to build an organization capable for sustained excellence.
He said that it might be six years, and he did so on Wednesday.
“I believe Matt. In a 30-minute zoom, Tepper stated that Matt has my complete support. “… I'm a fan. I hate to lose. Who likes losing? I want to win. But winning takes time. It also takes foundations. Coach Rhule is a great coach. [general manager] Scott [Fitterer]You have done an excellent job in creating that foundation.
Tepper also gave his vote of confidence Sam DarnoldCarolina still has the No. 6 pick.
Fitterer was asked what quarterbacks could get Carolina to the Super Bowl by Fitterer. “That wasn’t your question, but that’s all I’ll say.
Carolina's starter Darnold was 4-7 in 2017 and is now 17-32 overall. New York JetsHe was the third selection in the 2018 draft.
Tepper reminded Darnold that he was 3-0 in the last season before he ran back Christian McCaffreyDarnold was also injured. Darnold also sustained a shoulder injury which put him on injured reserve for the next four games.
Tepper said that there were a lot more things that happened last season that I hope will not happen this year, which gives me some hope. His team is now 22-43 after Tepper paid $2.3 billion to the NFL for the franchise.
Tepper is also encouraged by Darnold's potential improvement with the free agency upgrades to the offensive lines and the hiring Ben McAdoo, the new offensive coordinator.
However, that does not prevent the Panthers taking a quarterback in draft. Fitterer stated on Tuesday that Darnold was likely to be told by Fitterer that the team would add another quarterback during the weekend through either the draft or the acquisition of a veteran.
Tepper is well aware of the importance and potential impact on Rhule's future if the quarterback position is not a good fit.
“Unless you're able to find that guy who will get you to Super Bowls and playoffs, you need to keep evaluating that.” Tepper said December 2020 at a news conference.
Tepper spoke repeatedly Wednesday about patience and the importance of building a foundation. Offseason focus has been on the offensive line. The draft is still very much a mystery.
It's possible that one or two of the top left tackles at NC State will be there. Ikem Ekwonu, Alabama's Evan NealMississippi State's Charles Cross— Available at No. 6.
Tepper stated, “I've spoken it, ‘five, five, five, five, five, five years' since Coach Rhule was hired. It's just building that foundation. Having patience to build that foundation. Trying to get fans to be patient for that foundation to sustain winning.”
It is hard to create that foundation. It's hard. It's difficult.
Tepper stated that although winning is important, he enjoys the structure of this season.
Tepper stated, “There is a saying that what was then is now, and what is now is now.” “And we are in the present. We're not in that then.
“If we expect to win, we must work hard at it. It is important to be patient. While I want to win immediately, I understand that you still need to have a foundation.