Skip to main content

Panthers owner David Tepper praises Rivera, Turner

From eyeing an upgraded practice field to filling current front office vacancies, David Tepper has plenty to evaluate on the football side and business side in his role as the new owner of the Carolina Panthers.

One area, however, that Tepper doesn't believe requires immediate attention surrounds the coaching staff in charge of leading the players.

"You're actually blessed with a pretty good football side here," Tepper told reporters during a Tuesday morning introductory press conference. "A head coach who kind of understands and understands himself."

Ron Rivera returns for an eight season as the head coach, but Tepper inherits a team that went through coaching staff changes during the offseason on the heels of an 11-5 season and a postseason berth.

The two notable adjustments surround the hiring of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who replaced Mike Shula, and the promotion of Eric Washington from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator. Washington replaced Steve Wilks, who took over as the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals.

Carolina's new owner said he appreciated the staff changes and wasn't looking to do anything in that area, and pointed out the team is in good hands with Rivera.

"Ron is a natural defensive guy, OK, just natural," Tepper told reporters. "I mean, natural like walking down the street and drinking water, natural. So, I think you got to appreciate you got a guy understands that he wants to have the strength of the organization and bringing good people to do that. That's important, so I think that's kind of the things you like to see."

With Rivera at the helm since 2011, the Panthers have made the postseason four times, including winning the NFC South in three straight seasons (2013-15) and earning a trip to the Super Bowl in 2015.

While there are items on the business side requiring his attention, Tepper made it clear that continuing the on-field success with a coaching staff he is comfortable with remained a priority.

"This is a business; don't forget that," Tepper said. "But the football side is very important and winning is very important."

One thing that won't be changing, however, is the statue of former owner Jerry Richardson outside Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content