All of us have searched for jobs. It’s a frustrating process. You have to get a resume together, send in applications and then hurry up and wait. And wait. And wait.
Maybe you’ll get a call back. And if you do, the really annoying dance begins, where you have to put on uncomfortable clothes and show up for an interview. I’ve done it too many times. I sit there nervously in a waiting area, watching people who work there walk by and I feel jealous because they’re not in my position. They somehow passed the test and got the gig. Not me, I’m stewing in my mental turmoil.
Then you get called into someone’s office and you have the chat. Your resume is pored over, dumb questions are asked and dumb answers are given. And one thing the interviewer will notice is if your employment history is overactive, in the sense that you don’t seem to stay in one place for very long. A year at one job, maybe 18 months at another.
What that tells this company is that you’re either tough to be around, or you’re never satisfied and always looking for the next opportunity. Some employers are turned off by that. Which is fair. That being said, as a job-seeker, you need to take a close look at the company’s turnover rate. Do employees stick around or do they tend to duck out fast? Are they routinely cast aside?
Which brings me to the Carolina Panthers.
Current owner David Tepper bought the franchise back in 2018 from team founder Jerry Richardson in the wake of the latter’s inappropriate workplace conduct scandal. Tepper came in with the promise to erase the bad feelings and start anew.
He inherited head coach Ron Rivera and after the Panthers started the 2019 season with a 5-7 record, Tepper fired him in December. OK, no problem. Rivera had been there since 2011 and maybe it was time to get some new blood in the building. Tepper went to the college ranks and hired Steve Rhule from Baylor, who had a promising track record and was looked at as a rising star.
Fast forward to midway through the 2022 season, Tepper’s patience had run out and a change was made despite Rhule being in the third year of a seven-year, $62 million contract.
Look, bad hires happen. Someone can look great on paper and ace the interview process, but when it comes time to do the work, they fall short. And nobody was going to argue with Tepper after Rhule’s NFL coaching record was an underwhelming 11-27. So it was back to the drawing board.
And Tepper’s latest gambit was on Frank Reich, an offensive minded coach who was just cast aside by the Colts. Known as a quarterback guru, the team went out and traded up to draft Bryce Young with the No. 1 overall pick. The thought being that the pair would work together and grow over a couple seasons. One would think that’s how it would go.
But alas, Young has struggled as many rookie quarterbacks do, the team has been bad because there are holes all over the roster and their 1-10 record makes complete sense. Not sure why Reich was made the fall guy, but he paid the price as Tepper fired him this week.
If you count the interim men, the Panthers have had six head coaches already during Tepper’s tenure. By the way, Reich was hired on a four-year contract. So Tepper will still be paying Rhule’s and Reich’s salaries for a while. That is such a giant red flag that you need to run it up a pole and fly it from a state capitol building.
Now I ask you: Who would want to work for a company like that? Unfortunately since this is the NFL and there are only 32 of these jobs available, people will pursue the position. But man, I wouldn’t go house-hunting if I was moving to Carolina because who knows how long I’d be there.
NFL’S TOP 10
1. Eagles – I have no idea how Philly won that game against Buffalo because they looked pretty inept in the early going. But as they’ve proven this season, the Eagles are a second-half team as they’re a perfect 5-0 when trailing after halftime. Now, the Bills are a mess right now and the Eagles were able to get away with mistakes and win in overtime, but I don’t know if this is going to fly (sorry) against better competition. Like the team they’re going to face on Sunday.
2. 49ers – They’ll be coming off a nice break since they played on Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, the Niners will be on the road for a showdown in Philadelphia. And while it’s tempting to put a lot of stock into the outcome of this game, I’m not so worried about the final score. It’s fine if San Francisco loses. They’re in control of their division and have nothing to worry about. The important thing is to see how Brock Purdy handles Philly’s defense, because he might have to come to Pennsylvania again in the postseason.
3. Chiefs – I did notice that they fell behind early against the Raiders, but I was never really concerned. They came back and tied the score by halftime and outscored Vegas 17-3 in the second half. Kansas City’s defense is carrying this team right now as the offense still tries to find its way. In the meantime, the Chiefs are 8-3 and have a great shot at the AFC’s top seed.
4. Ravens – Speaking of great defenses, Baltimore is once again a juggernaut. And the only reason I don’t have them ranked ahead of the Chiefs at the moment is because I’m still biased toward Patrick Mahomes and the fact that K.C. is the defending champs. But if these two teams meet in the playoffs, I’m picking the Ravens, regardless of where the game is played.
5. Cowboys – Have you been paying attention to Dallas lately? They blew out the Giants 49-17 on Nov. 12, drop-kicked the Panthers 33-10 the following Sunday and then dominated the Commanders 45-10 on Thanksgiving. They have the top-scoring offense in the NFL and a top-five defense. The only reason I don’t have them ranked higher is that I just don’t trust Dak Prescott, which I probably need to get over. If they take down the Seahawks in impressive fashion, I’ll consider them a top three team.
6. Dolphins – Speaking of great defenses, Miami doesn’t have one. But their offense beats up on bad teams and their schedule is pretty soft. Also, the Bills, Patriots and Jets stink. This should be a pretty easy division title to wrap up.
7. Lions – Ugly, ugly, ugly. I’ve been a Jared Goff defender since he came into the league, but he was Jared Goof against Green Bay. He has a tendency to put his worst foot forward during nationally televised games and his ball security issues in the first half were gross. Sigh. Even when the Lions are doing well, they can’t help but lose on Thanksgiving.
8. Jaguars – They’re a perfect example of not buying into the peaks and valleys of an NFL season. Just a couple weeks ago, they got pantsed at home by the 49ers. But they responded with two straight wins, including this past Sunday against the Texans, which put them in a solid position to clinch the AFC South title. By the way, did you know Jacksonville is 6-0 away from their home stadium (including two games in London)? Interesting.
9. Browns – I’m not a huge fan of putting the Browns in this spot. They’re about to start Joe Flacco this week. But their defense is still solid, and I don’t really have a better team to put here. Don’t even ask about the Steelers. They don’t sniff my top 10, I don’t care what their record is.
10. Broncos – Anyone want to laugh at Russell Wilson and Sean Payton now? They’ve won five in a row and are a game above .500. Man, I love a good redemption story.
WHAT’S THE CHATTER?
Clown of the Week award: David Tepper. I know I roasted him earlier, but his press conference after Frank Reich’s firing was weird. Specifically, as Mike Florio (speaking of clowns) pointed out, Tepper pronounced “Reich” phonetically. With a “ch” sound at the end. Unless we’ve all been saying it wrong all these years, that’s not how that name is pronounced. First rule: Learn the names of your employees! That’s not too much to ask.
Here we go: Aaron Rodgers needs to stop with the “am I coming back this season?” garbage. As the years pass, he’s acting more and more like Brett Favre. But even without his drama, it’s just a dumb move. He’s a couple months removed from having surgery on his Achilles. Why push things? Come back better next fall. It’s fine.
It’s about time: The Chargers need to be thinking about their next head coach. I’m a little surprised they haven’t fired Brandon Staley already. I don’t like to call for people’s jobs, but we all know what’s coming. Why waste time? Start trying to find the best candidate now. Staley will be OK, he’ll find a coordinator job somewhere.
Unreal: It’s rare for something to happen in football that I’ve never seen before. But it did last Friday when Dolphins safety Jevon Holland returned a Jets Hail Mary pass 99 yards for a touchdown on the last play of the first half. To quote “Seinfeld,” I was speechless. I was without speech. Poor Jets. And to think, Aaron Rodgers wants to return to that.
APPOINTMENT VIEWING FOR WEEK 13
Seahawks at Cowboys: Two teams playing on a Thursday for the second straight week, but both have had a week to prepare. I really don’t like Seattle’s chances, especially with the way Dallas has been playing.
Colts at Titans: Did you know that Indy is 6-5 and has won three games in a row? Granted, it was against the Panthers, Patriots and Buccaneers, but still. If the season ended today, they’d be the No. 7 seed in the AFC. Bet you didn’t know that either because they’re flying under the radar.
Chargers at Patriots: If L.A. loses, Brandon Staley will definitely get Kiffin’d on the tarmac at Logan Airport.
Lions at Saints: New Orleans really needs this one if they’re going to stay relevant in the NFC playoff race. Luckily they’re catching Detroit during an inept stretch. They have a good chance to win.
Broncos at Texans: About a month ago, nobody would have cared about this game. But both teams have identical 6-5 records and are in the thick of the playoff hunt. Fun stuff!
Browns at Rams: Both teams are trying to tread water. Cleveland is looking to ride their defense to win games, which is great because L.A. quarterback Matthew Stafford is guaranteed to throw one or two horrible passes. If the Browns can get turnovers and short fields, they’ll be in solid shape.
49ers at Eagles: The unquestioned game of the week. I mentioned my curiosity about Brock Purdy earlier, but I’m really interested to see how the Niners’ beefed-up defense matches up against Philly’s dominant offensive line. Isn’t this great? This is football, people!
Bengals at Jaguars: Would have been a lot more interesting had Joe Burrow not been lost for the season. But it’s Monday night, what else are you gonna watch?
Enjoy the games!
Currently a Mobile Editor at Yahoo, Saraf spent 5.5 years (Oct. 2010 – Feb. 2016) working for FOX Sports as an NFL Editor and Writer. Prior to that, Saraf worked for CBS Interactive for 4.5 years (May 2006 – Oct. 2010) as a Staff Editor.