Panthers Hire Frank Reich, Who Inherits Familiar Quarterback Situation In Carolina

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Frank Reich wasn’t out of a job very long.

The coach fired by the Indianapolis Colts in November was named the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers, per the team.

Reich, who has a 40-33-1 record in five seasons as a head coach, takes over for interim coach Steve Wilks and Matt Rhule, who was fired one month before Reich was relieved of his duties in Indianapolis.

Wilks, who managed to raise his team’s play and was 6-6 the final 12 games, was considered a close runner-up to the spot, according to a source. He will move on to another team.

Reich was on the Panthers roster as a quarterback in 1995, the franchise’s inaugural season. And he attended the Charlotte Campus of Reformed Theological Seminary in the city,  and he earned a Master of Divinity degree. He served as president of RTS’ Charlotte campus from 2003 to 2006.

The challenge of coaching the Panthers will probably require a lot of prayer.

Quarterback Frank Reich of the Carolina Panthers in 1995. (Getty Images)

Frank Reich Has No Starting QB Right Now

The Panthers have no set starting quarterback.

They cut Baker Mayfield during the season. And Sam Darnold is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. P.J. Walker similarly is scheduled to be a free agent.

That situation is not unfamiliar to Reich.

Reich had seven different starting quarterbacks during his 77-game span (including the playoffs) while coaching the Colts. That’s seven different starters in about 4 1/2 years.

The Panthers own the ninth selection in the 2023 NFL draft. They’ll either draft a quarterback — although not the top 2 or 3 if they don’t move up. Or will be players in the free agent or trade market.

The Panthers are obviously taking a route similar to what the Jacksonville Jaguars took last year. The Jaguars hired former Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson because they believed his experience could be an asset to the franchise following a failed Urban Meyer experience.

The Panthers obviously believe Reich and his NFL coaching experience can be an asset to the franchise followed a similarly failed experience with a Rhule, who also came from the college ranks.

The difference between the two franchises that began play in 1995 is the Jaguars have Trevor Lawrence at quarterback. The Panthers don’t have anyone.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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