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What did we really learn from David Tepper's press conference yesterday?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2023 3:31 pm

What did we really learn from David Tepper's press conference yesterday?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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November 29, 2023 3:31 pm

Scott Fowler, Sports Columnist for the Charlotte Observer joined Adam to share his overall thoughts on what he heard at David Tepper's press conference yesterday regarding the firing of Frank Reich. Scott was frozen out of asking a question at the press conference and felt like it was purposeful. He also discussed with Adam just how long he thinks it'll take for the Panthers to rebuild and become successful. 

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See website for details. Scott Fowler has been with the Charlotte Observer, I think as long as I have been in the state of North Carolina, and he is the top columnist, and he has written so many books on the Carolina Panthers. Let me just see if we can run down some of them. Panthers Rising, Tales from the Carolina Panthers Sidelines, Year of the Cat, A Hundred Things Panthers Fans Should Know, and blah, blah, blah. He has a new book out, which you should probably get for the holiday, Sports Legends of the Carolinas. Will there be, as we welcome in Scott Fowler, will there be an abridged version or an addendum to include David Tepper? Well, thanks for that kind introduction, and no, David Tepper is not a sports legend of the Carolinas. There's a couple of Super Bowl rings that probably need to be won first before he makes it into that copy.

Yeah, it was a fun book to do. We've done all sorts of people in your area, interviewed Roy Williams, and Coach K, Steph Curry, many more, so it's a fun one. Jake Delome as well, right? Yeah, Jake Delome, Thomas Davis. We've done a lot of Panthers too, but all from the past, for obvious reasons.

Not a lot of legendary players on that team right now. Well, we're going to get to that. Just the number of people you've talked with, I think Don Staley will be a fascinating conversation as well.

So, this is a perfect thing to get as we try to find things to stuff, although it looks too big to fit in a stocking, but maybe wrap it and put it under a tree. Alright, let's go back to Tuesday. I think we were all eagerly anticipating a David Tepper Q&A, which really lasted 11 minutes, and involved very little A. There were plenty of Qs, very little As. Other than being ghosted by David Tepper with your hand up, I hope your shoulder's not sore. What were your thoughts on everything that went down Tuesday?

Yeah, that's a good way to describe it. There was not even that many Qs either. There were only eight that ended up getting asked. He dodged the ninth about Scott Fitterer, the GM's status on his way off the podium.

Right. I never got one of those in either, but of what he did say, I will say this. Having been to Tepper's previous, I fired a coach at press conferences, i.e.

Ron Rivera and Matt Rule. This one was much less forthcoming. The press conference was much shorter. He spoke in many more generalities. All that, I think, was somewhat purposeful, where he's maybe been coached a little. Look, you don't have to spill the beans here, just say, we're not getting into that internal discussions.

Or just say, we need to get better, etc. Well, we know that. But I would have liked to have known a little more about the machinations of this all, because we didn't get a lot there. What we did get was David Tepper saying he was, quote, a patient man. Right. Which surprised people, I think. And then also he said, yes, I endorse Bryce Young as the quarterback, but that is a myth about that I overrode people.

And I think this part, I think, is true, Adam. They were pretty unanimous in that room. There weren't a lot of people pounding the table for C.J.

Stroud. In retrospect, people might like to say they did, but no. That room was Bryce Young-centric, from scouts and GMs to Frank Reich and David Tepper, too.

Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer and an author of the new book called Sports Legends of the Carolinas. He actually, that would be the one of his eight questions that he did eventually circle back and actually give an answer to. It could have been cleared up. It didn't have to take a minute and 45, because we have all the answers timed out. It didn't need a minute and 45 to get to, no, everybody liked Bryce Young. I liked Bryce Young.

I just endorsed them. It took a long time to get back to that. The question specific to Scott Fitterer, and then we can get into the nuts and bolts of why Frank Reich was fired in a second. The question about Fitterer really was, I thought, a legitimate one, because I think their biggest problem is the roster, not anything else.

The bigger problem is the owner. And the coaching wasn't great this year, by any stretch of the imagination. But the roster is maybe the worst, at least on the offensive side of the ball, maybe the worst in the entire National Football League. And when he was asked about that, he basically still threw it back on Frank, because he said, well, the roster, then there's scheme, and then there's how you practice. He says he's been around football a long time. Yeah, I've been a football fan for 50 years. I haven't been around football a long time. I've been around football as much as David Tepper has.

I just don't own a team. What does he know about practice and schemes that somebody playing Madden doesn't know? Yeah, that's a good question.

I don't know. He's at practices, and he's watching, and he does ask questions and all that, and tries to learn. I think his perspective, honestly, is more of a fan. He grew up as a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He lived and died every Sunday with the Steelers.

And like a lot of us did for a various team, and I think that's even why he got into this, I believe, and wanted to own his own team, because he loves the NFL, like so many people do. But should he be making lots of decisions? Obviously not. Does he really make the decisions? I don't know that he does, but he certainly offers a lot of input, more than I'm comfortable with. I think he should leave him alone or make the changes at the top, which Scott Fitterer wasn't there yesterday, and that spoke a little bit to me, too.

I mean, why wouldn't you be there when your new interim coach is having his first press conference, etc.? And Tepper not answering that question also makes you think, well, Fitterer's job's at least in jeopardy. I don't know if he's going to get fired or not, honestly, but Frank Reich didn't know either that on Monday morning he was going to get fired until it happened. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer, since 1994, it says, at Scott underscore Fowler on Twitter. Personally, with Reich getting fired, I just assumed Fowler would have been with him, not that Fowler is the one who hired Reich. That was a David Tepper thing.

Fowler preceded him. I'm sorry, we're not firing you. I apologize. Maybe David Tepper would like to, simply because he didn't want to answer your question, and you said in the Observer on Monday that it's a David Tepper problem, and that is 100% accurate.

We've talked about that on the air for a long time, and I've given him a pass. It takes a while to learn how to own. You come in with so much energy and excitement, and you are a fan, sometimes it takes a while to figure out how to dial it back. By the way, not that this is a hockey conversation, but Tom Dundon and David Tepper became owners of their respective franchises basically at the same time. Tom Dundon has figured out how to own a major league professional franchise a lot faster and better than David Tepper.

He could teach a class on it, and it's called personal discipline, which David Tepper has not exhibited. But it is a personnel issue, right? How would you evaluate Scott Fitterer's performance as the general manager? Not good.

It's not good. You evaluate a GM on the record generally, and kind of what also they've got in the bag for the future, because they're always looking one, two, three years out. Right now, they don't have a number one pick for 2024, and that may be the number one pick.

But you evaluate with the win-loss record, so that one in ten stains him just as much as anyone else. The roster is okay on defense. I think their defense actually is a middle-of-the-pack NFL defense, a defense that could be the same defense for a team that's six and five, or five and six maybe. But their offense is horrible. Skill positions lack. And then the offensive line has regressed considerably, including Iki Iquanu, who's supposed to be their franchise left tackle, who they've got a lot invested in. He's gone backwards, unfortunately, NC State product and Charlotte product.

I hate to see it, because he's a really good guy. He's trying very hard, but it's not working. Whatever schemes they've got going offensively. They missed really on, I think, Miles Sanders and D.J. Chart, who were supposed to be big-time players. Hayden Hurst, the tight end you throw in there, too. All these were supposed to be guys that were going to help replace Moore and McCaffrey, who they've traded away. They're two best skill position guys, and it just hasn't happened.

Scott Fowler is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. I mean, it's possible, because there were a lot of draft experts that said Iki Iquanu would be better served at guard than at tackle. It's possible, I guess, that maybe that would be his future.

I just don't know how you approach that with somebody who is looking at a career as a tackle and all the riches that comes with that, and say, well, maybe guard, although maybe you can send him to Quentin Nelson's contract and say, hey, this is potentially here for you, too, if you excel at this position. Did it strike you as odd and completely unnecessary when David Tepper mentioned how nobody leaves him in other aspects of life and all of the events he brought to Bank of America Stadium, since we were really there to find out how the football team was going to be fixed? Yeah, I think that was his defense on the patience issue, because he is sensitive to public perception, and certainly there's a rightful perception that as a sports owner, I mean, he's going through coaches so quickly on the Charlotte FC MLS side, too. So about one a year, really, has been the average if you include interim coaches, so that's a bad, bad deal.

So I guess he was defending with other businesses. Basically, I'm a financial wizard in other businesses, so you've got to trust me on this. I really want a coach that's going to be here for 20 or 30 years. I want a coach who's going to do the eulogy at my funeral.

I've never heard someone put it that way. I mean, you talk about looking far ahead. You know, I mean, you could say it made me flash the David Tepper's funeral in 40 years as he hopes it will be. I don't know, I did not want to go there. I covered Jerry Richardson's funeral earlier this year, and I don't want any of that to happen. But in any case, I thought the whole press conference was real kind of fits and starts, little bits of information couched, and large swaths of information that we didn't really need. Yeah, I mean, honestly, at a press conference, you're talking to fans. You're talking through us, to fans, and Panthers fans don't care how many concerts or soccer matches you bring to Bank of America Stadium. The only match they want, the only game or event they want beyond the regular season is a playoff game. So if the number instead of 10 were 11, and that 11 was the Green Bay Packers coming in for a playoff game, a divisional, that's all they care about. They don't care about how many times you bring Kenny Chesney.

I mean, more or less, that's probably mostly right. I think there is some overlap when the Rolling Stones come into the stadium or whatever. I see a lot of people in Panther jerseys at those things.

Sure, but I saw the Rolling Stones at Carter Finley, I saw the Rolling Stones at Wallace Wade Stadium, and I didn't see the president of Duke University patting himself on the back. I mean, the owner doesn't really have that much to do with that. Well, they do control the stadium.

Is he going to turn it down? I'm glad the MLS team is here. I'll give them credit for that. We filled a big gap there. We needed a third pro sports team, and that's here, and they made the playoffs this year, and then he fired the coach a week later. Well, he fired the other coach. Didn't he fire the other coach before the season started?

Yeah, mid-season in the first year. This guy got a year and a half, but then made the playoffs at the very edge of it, got knocked out in the wildcard sort of round, and then he's gone. All right, let me ask you one quick question for Scott Fowler, then we'll have to say goodbye.

I kept you too long anyway. Your thoughts on how long this rebuild may take before they become good. 2025 would be my earliest prediction.

I think they've got to have 2024 to reset now and get some people around Bryce. I think they do have a lot of cap room, so it's not out of the question. NFL teams rebuild a lot, right? The Panthers went from one in 15 in 2001 to the Super Bowl in 2003. This isn't a Super Bowl caliber roster. That team had 20 players on it that remained and made the Super Bowl in 2003. This team doesn't have 20 players of that caliber, but it does have enough good players. If you keep Brian Burns and Derrick Brown on the roster at Bryce Young gets better, you might win the NFC South in 2025, but that's the earliest, and that's if everything goes right. And that doesn't mean you're good if you win the NFC South. We could have a division winner with seven wins this year.

Here's the only place you and I will differ. I would gut it all. I would sell off every asset I had and tear it down and build it back up, and I might even consider doing that with Bryce Young if I could get a first round pick and maybe something else. I love Bryce. I think Bryce is going to be fun.

I just think they're so far away from being good that it's kind of hard to tell. Scott Fowler, at Scott underscore Fowler on Twitter, Charlotte Observer, sports legends of the Carolinas for the holidays. You're a sports legend in the Carolinas, Scott. I appreciate your time. You are as well, and thanks as always. Love to be on your show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-29 17:59:49 / 2023-11-29 18:06:46 / 7

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