Panthers owner David Tepper has work to do, and changes will be made.
But the overarching theme he expressed during his introductory press conference was that he was well-pleased with the football operation he inherited.
“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. “I’m not looking to do too much there. I think we’ve got some good folks there. 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.”
The Panthers have been to the playoffs four of the last five years, and are 64-47-1 the last seven years under coach Ron Rivera.
Specifically, he seemed rather fond of new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who came this offseason to replace Mike Shula. Tepper made it clear he had no input on the change there, but said he thought Turner’s experience was a good complement to Rivera.
“I appreciate some of the changes that were made on that staff,” Tepper said. “I thought Norv is a pretty good addition on the offensive side.
“I think Ron is a natural defensive guy, just a natural. Natural like walking down the street and drinking water, just natural.”
Turner was brought it to help push quarterback Cam Newton to a new level, not that his previous level was that bad. While Newton took a team lacking great weapons in the passing game to a 15-1 record and an MVP, they have made a conscious effort to upgrade the personnel around him. While wide receivers Torrey Smith, D.J. Moore and Jarius Wright will help, adding Turner remains the biggest boost to their offense this offseason.