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#pounditSaturday, June 15, 2024

David Tepper addresses reports that Frank Reich wanted CJ Stroud

David Tepper at a press conference

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper says he did not talk Frank Reich or anyone else into drafting Bryce Young.

Tepper held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss his decision to fire Reich and the current state of the franchise. One reporter asked about the rumblings that Reich wanted to draft CJ Stroud, but Tepper preferred Young. Tepper insisted that is not how the process works.

“On all of those decisions, whether it’s (hiring) the head coach or whether it’s (drafting) Bryce, I don’t really vote on those decisions until the last piece,” Tepper said. “Those decisions are made by football people. Now, look, everything that’s right and everything that’s wrong here is ultimately my fault. I have the final say. … In the case of Bryce, I believe it was a unanimous decision from the coaches and the scouts, and very strong opinions at the time.”

Tepper did say that the Panthers initially planned to trade up to No. 2 and thought they would end up with Stroud, as they believed the Houston Texans would trade up to No. 1 for Young. Carolina then decided to move up to first overall to get their guy.

“I supported the coaches. I supported the scouts and their unanimous opinion, and I supported Frank Reich,” Tepper said. “Whatever’s good, bad, or indifferent is ultimately because the buck stops here. I take full responsibility for everything, but that’s the way the process runs.”

Tepper ended his press conference by saying the Panthers remain “totally confident” in Young. We will see this offseason if that is truly the case.

The Panthers are the worst team in the NFL at 1-10, while Stroud has become a star in his rookie season. Even if it is true that Tepper did not overrule Reich, he still deserves plenty of blame for how things have gone since he took over.

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