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New Panthers owner Tepper praises Ron Rivera, Norv Turner

7/10/2018 2:13:07 PM
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New Panthers owner David Tepper comes from an organization that has had three head coaches in 49 years, and he won’t begin his Panthers tenure with any sweeping changes on the football side of the organization, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.

Tepper, who bought a five percent stake in his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, might have tempered his praise of Panthers coach Ron Rivera and the front office during his press conference Tuesday — but only slightly.

“You actually have – you don’t want to give people too many compliments — but you’re actually blessed with a pretty good football side here,” Tepper said at Bank of America Stadium.

Tepper plans to hire a president to run the Panthers’ business operations — a position that has been vacant since Danny Morrison left abruptly in 2017. Tepper indicated he’s zeroing in on a couple of candidates for team president.

But don’t expect him to shake things up — at least not in the short term — on a coaching staff that has been to the playoffs in four of the past five seasons.

“I’m not looking to do too much there. I think we’ve got some good folks there,” Tepper said. “I know people always want to hear things that are bad. They’re not bad. Sorry, can’t do it. It is what it is.”

Tepper called Rivera “a head coach that understands himself” and applauded his defensive acumen. Rivera was an NFL defensive coordinator with Chicago and San Diego before becoming the Panthers’ head coach in 2011.

Tepper also mentioned Panthers new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, a former NFL head coach, during his news conference. “I appreciate some of the changes that were made on that staff, in my view. …

I thought Norv is a pretty good addition on the offensive side,” he said. “I think Ron is a natural defensive guy, just a natural. Natural like walking down the street and drinking water, just natural.”

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