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Five Things We Learned from Frank Reich, Scott Fitterer, and David Tepper

The Frank Reich era has officially begun. Here's what you need to know.

Tuesday afternoon, the Carolina Panthers introduced Frank Reich as the sixth head coach in franchise history. Reich discussed a myriad of topics including the direction of the offense, thoughts on the roster he inherits, the stout defense, and so forth. In addition to Reich, the media also had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with General Manager Scott Fitterer and team owner David Tepper.

Here are the five biggest takeaway's from today's media availability:

Reich's working relationship plan with GM Scott Fitterer

Reich and Fitterer each talked about how creating and molding the roster will be a collaborative effort. However, Reich did mention that he will decide on who is active/inactive while Fitterer will have "control" of the 53-man roster. If this plays out as planned, it will be a vast difference from when Matt Rhule was here. Back in early October when David Tepper fired Rhule, he told reporters that a collaborative effort between the GM and head coach was probably "more appropriate". 

Willingness to run the ball

A lot has been made about Frank's ability to coach the passing game and rightfully so. However, he's not going to shy away from this team's backbone which is the ground game. He noted D'Onta Foreman's strong finish to the season and how the offensive line played a big part in that.

Reich: "It's a passing league but you have to run the ball to be a championship team. I mean, there's exceptions to that but when you look at the analytics, the statistics over the years, you've got to be effective running the football and efficient running the football. That's one of the reasons why I'm excited about this roster. I know we can do that. We'll get the pass game right. I know we can run the football and we're going to run the football."

Who will call the plays on offense

Okay...this we don't know yet, but I thought it would be good to note. Reich said he wants to see how the coaching staff comes together before deciding on whether or not he will be calling the shots.

Reich: "Obviously, I've always enjoyed doing that. Felt like I've had a good bit of success doing that. It feels to me there's a little bit of a trend going away from that. I want to continue to re-examine that and it just depends on how the staff comes together and the coordinator thing. I'm excited about the prospects about some of the guys that are out there that could be our offensive coordinator. So, I'll wait to make the final decision on that."

Possibility of drafting a QB

Clearly, the Panthers aren't going to tip their hand, but Scott Fitterer has said over and over that he would love to get the roster to a point to where they can just drop in a quarterback and take off. He provided some thoughts on trading up for a QB today along with drafting a QB in general.

Fitterer: "I think you've got to have conviction. If there's a guy in this class that you like, you got to go up and go get him. We're in a position now where we have a defense, we have an offensive line. We built around this for this opportunity. So if you have conviction, go get him. If not, you don't want to force it. You don't want to take a player and pass on a really good player, that might set you back. But you can't be afraid to take a shot if you believe that's the guy.

"I don't think you ever want to box yourself in and just say hey, we'll go strictly draft. I've always said that's kind of the proper way to do it. Draft and develop from a cost effective standpoint. But if we don't believe that guy is there this year, and we haven't even started the process, our scouts have. In an ideal world we would draft and develop."

Reich's progress on putting together a coaching staff

It was reported before Reich was hired that he did a good job of formulating a plan for his staff. Both Fitterer and owner David Tepper confirmed that this afternoon during their few minutes with the media. 

Fitterer: "I know he's made a ton of calls. He laid out a plan for us in the interview process. Some teams are still playing and a lot of times you have to get a coordinator in place first to see how it all shakes out but those calls are being made non-stop. We're putting in slips left and right for coaches and we'll see where it goes. I know he's got a good plan. If option 'A' doesn't work out, option 'B' is just as good."

Tepper: "Frank talked about commitment to excellence. And that commitment to excellence begins with the coaches we get in the building and the process we have for getting coaches in the building in the future."

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