The Panthers players who have met with new owner David Tepper seem as fired up about his arrival as the league’s other owners were at adding guy worth $11 billion to their exclusive club.
Tepper flew straight from last week’s owners meetings where he was approved by the league to come to Charlotte to meet with some of the team’s key leaders about the anthem policy, and left them with a favorable impression of the new boss.
“It went great. Rarely do you see an owner come in and want to rush from the owners meeting and just conversate with the guys,” safety Mike Adams said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “Just talk about everything, us as a team.
“The one thing I took away from it, the one thing I like about him is he’s got that fire and he wants to win. Not taking away from [Jerry] Richardson, but he’s fired up. He’s happy.”
While improving on Richardson’s 23-year record of 192-192-1 (including playoffs) will be helpful, Adams was also encouraged by the fact Tepper seemed open to hearing their thoughts on the new anthem policy (which is frankly the kind of conversation Richardson would have never had interest in having).
“That was addressed. We talked about that,” Adams said. “It was an open conversation and that’s going to be an ongoing conversation all year long – with every team. And you know that. Everyone’s going to be all over that. . . .
“He let it be known that we have a voice. He understands that we have a voice. And he understands that he has a voice, too. And he would like to help us with that in different ways.”
The Panthers under Richardson were one of the least vocal teams in the league, with no kneelers and only one player (Julius Peppers) who stayed in the locker room for the anthem the week after President Donald Trump inflamed players with his SOB remarks.