The Panthers were hoping their new quarterback and new head coach would turn things around in Carolina, but it has been the exact opposite. Head coach Frank Reich was fired Monday after the Panthers' 1-10 start, and first-overall pick Bryce Young has struggled in his first season.
Young said everyone played a part in the Reich firing -- by not playing well enough. When asked if he feels somewhat responsible for the head coach's dismissal, Young said (via ESPN),"We all do. We all share in that."
The Panthers, who have the worst record in the league, are 27th in passing yards (2,245), tied for fourth-fewest passing touchdowns (11), 30th in first-down percentage, 29th in sacks (43), 29th in rushing yards (1,019) and tied for last in rushing touchdowns (three). On defense, they are tied for the second-fewest interceptions (five) and sacks (18).
There is not one person to point to in their failure, as they have issues on all sides of the ball, but owner David Tepper felt starting at the top and letting Reich go was best for the team.
"We never want to see people get fired," Young said. "We wanted to come in and conquer things together and accomplish our goals together. We all take responsibility in that."
The 22-year-old is now adjusting to seeing his first head coach fired, an interim head coach in special teams coordinator Chris Tabor, while also preparing for the next opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"It's really hard," Young said. "These are real relationships ... people's lives. We spend, I don't know, almost every hour of the day in this building. Day after day after day is spent [here]. Obviously, you build strong bonds, strong relationships over that time."
Young continued, saying, "It's hard. It's a really harsh reality of the business. Still, he said he has faith in his team and those who are still around.
"Of course, there will be little tweaks with change in leadership, change in roles. Of course, things are going to look a little different. But I believe in everyone here. Time will tell as far as what the results are."
The Panthers had their pick of all available quarterbacks in the draft and went with Young over C.J. Stroud, who is having a standout season with the Houston Texans. It is looking like Stroud would have been the better choice, but Tepper remains "totally confident in that pick."
One season does not define a quarterback, and while there is still the chance Young could it turn around and have a strong career, the team as a whole has a lot to do in order to create a winning squad.