Frank Reich is the new head coach for the Carolina Panthers. After opting not to retain interim Head Coach Steve Wilks, owner David Tepper went after offensive-minded coaches to help rejuvenate a stagnant offense. After interviews with Sean Payton, Kellen Moore, and Shane Steichen, the Panthers eventually honed in on Reich. Reich quickly added some juice to the Indianapolis Colts before struggling to get consistency at the quarterback position and getting fired midway through the 2022 season.
What to expect on offense:
Reich brings a diverse run game with him to Carolina. He has fun concepts with motion, especially using escort motion where the motion player lead blocks to the same direction as the run.
He bases predominantly out of the zone run game, but has shown adaptability and inventiveness in integrating more and more gap-scheme runs like power, trap, and pin and pull. Statistically, he’s one of the better explosive run designers in the NFL.
When he was with the Colts, Reich liked to line up in condensed formations and work pin-and-pull schemes. The receivers crack down on defensive linemen and the tackle pulls around. That immediately gets the tackle and Jonathan Taylor out on the edge of the defense on smaller defensive backs. The rest of the line is selling out to hook and seal pursuit from the backside. While the Panthers might not have a true speed back to stress the perimeter, the scheme is effective with decisive runners and Reich’s love for it could be an indicator that a speedier, shiftier, back might be on the way in the later part of the draft.
Meanwhile, D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard are natural fits in the zone run game that Reich brings over. Reich does like to stress the edges, but he’s not afraid to play power football inside the tackle box and that’s where Carolina can make their money.
Through the air, Frank Reich, the former Panther quarterback, likes to make things as straight forward as he can for whoever is under center. He loves to integrate schemes with triangle reads that allows the quarterback to progress through three receivers all while not having to scan from one side of the field to the other. The base concepts overload two defenders with three receivers, putting them into a bind. Triangle read concepts like Mesh, Snag, or Sail generally exploit the short and intermediate area, which should fit Sam Darnold’s playstyle if he get’s another chance to start in Carolina.
Reich is based in the West Coast Offense. While his tendencies have shifted with the quarterbacks he has had over the years with the Colts, expect to see him get back to his roots in Carolina. Reich is great at isolating his playmakers and helping his quarterbacks deliver the ball in combination with a strong run game.