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What Panthers owner David Tepper said in his press conference


There are a whole lot of methods to explain Carolina Panthers proprietor David Tepper, however one phrase says it finest:

Careful.

In his first full-fledged information convention in 493 days, Tepper didn’t touch upon the facility battle in Rock Hill, didn’t touch upon the Panthers’ pursuit of quarterback Deshaun Watson and didn’t touch upon what quarterbacks in Thursday’s NFL draft that he likes.

Tepper is a gregarious billionaire used to saying what he likes, doing what he needs and profitable in enterprise, time and again. But he simply stored preaching persistence along with his soccer crew Wednesday, even after 4 straight shedding seasons below his possession.

And he sounded fairly proud of the path of a crew that has gone 10-23 in two seasons below Tepper’s hand-picked coach, Matt Rhule.

“I believe in Matt and he has my full support,” Tepper stated.

The proprietor additionally referred to as Sam Darnold a “very good quarterback” with some “incredible skills.”

Referring to his frequent statements that Rhule and his employees wanted 5 years to completely rebuild the Panthers from his rent date, Tepper stated: “Maybe it’ll be six years, I don’t know.”

And he pulled out certainly one of his outdated favorites to explain the Panthers, likening them to an ideal Italian metropolis.

“There’s a saying and I didn’t make it up.” Tepper stated. “Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it wasn’t. And neither is this team.”

It’s true that Tepper does sound completely different now than he did when he purchased the crew in 2018. The difficulties of building a profitable basis within the NFL have been introduced dwelling to him after a four-year mixed file of 22-43. Fans with season tickets have had a very troublesome time discovering a lot to cheer about, as Carolina has misplaced 21 of its previous 27 dwelling video games.

“Listen, I have new appreciation for how stupid I am,” Tepper stated Wednesday.

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Carolina Panthers proprietor David Tepper talks with operating again Christian McCaffrey (22) throughout a 2019 follow. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Tepper didn’t contact the Rock Hill mess even after being requested concerning the Panthers’ half-built headquarters a half-dozen instances in a 30-minute Zoom information convention. Undoubtedly, his attorneys would say his “no comment” bonanza was a good suggestion — anytime a undertaking like this one goes awry, lawsuits could effectively comply with. But Tepper naturally prefers to talk off the cuff. He can afford the luxurious of candor.

Not this time, although — no less than not the way in which he often does. There had been a number of tidbits, nonetheless, together with the truth that Tepper now appears like he would by no means assist a domed stadium in Charlotte.

Said Tepper: “On any given Sunday, when you’re sitting there in November, in Charlotte, North Carolina, it is just gorgeous. … What I said originally (about possibly constructing a domed stadium or retro-fitting Bank of America Stadium with a roof) was said in haste. … Why would you ever want to do something different? It’s beautiful here and it’s just a great experience to be in here. It’s like being alive.”

When requested if he was “committed” to conserving the Panthers in Charlotte, Tepper sounded optimistic — however you’ll discover he by no means fairly stated “yes” or “no.”

“I’ve said often that this is the best place for the Panthers,” the proprietor stated. “Uptown, where the stadium is right now. … The most logical place for the Carolina Panthers to be is in Charlotte.”

The timing of the occasion was curious. Tepper hadn’t held an actual press convention in additional than 16 months, since he fired former normal supervisor Marty Hurney on Dec. 21, 2020. But he selected the day earlier than the NFL draft — one of the anticipated days on the league calendar — to reply questions. Because of that, a number of the anticipatory draft protection main as much as the previous few hours earlier than the draft can be shuffled down the web page or towards the top of native sports activities telecasts.

Still, it was good that he spoke in any respect. It serves Tepper’s finest pursuits to often open a window into what he’s considering. One of lately, he’s going to ask the town of Charlotte for lots of public cash for a brand new or closely renovated soccer stadium, so he wants the goodwill.

The window didn’t open that a lot. But when it did, Tepper sounded surprisingly affected person. Somewhat quotable. And very cautious.

This story was initially revealed April 27, 2022 7:00 PM.

Sports columnist Scott Fowler has written for The Charlotte Observer since 1994. He has authored or co-authored eight books, together with 4 concerning the Carolina Panthers. Fowler has gained the Thomas Wolfe award for excellent newspaper writing and has earned 18 nationwide APSE awards. He hosted The Observer’s 8-part podcast “Carruth,” which Sports Illustrated named 2018’s “Podcast of the Year.”
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