Seifert Fired

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson didn't waste any time in sending the message that the Panthers were working to win fans back, firing George Seifert as head coach just one day after finishing a 1-15 season that featured an NFL-record 15 game losing streak.

Seifert appeared at 11:00 to announce that he'd been fired. He said that the only regret he had was that his three-year tenure wasn't more successful. He finished the three years at 16-32.

But, as this year went on, it became obvious that Seifert was having problems. His play-calling, decision-making and game management were under nearly constant criticism. By the mid-point of the season, he had pretty much lost the respect of much of the team.

Players, who had been largely silent when given opportunity to defend the coach, spent time today talking about how he was aloof and unemotional...saying that that made it difficult to put out for him.

Team owner Jerry Richardson was rightly praised when he quickly hired Seifert three years ago after firing Dom Capers, said that hiring Seifert was the right move at the time, and that firing him is the right move now. Even though Seifert conducted a team meeting today at which he gave the players the impression he would be back next year, he has known his fate since his weekly Friday meeting with Richardson.

Today, Richardson talked at length about giving the fans energy again. He also spoke about what a difficult decision this was to make. Interestingly, one thing he pointed out was the Panthers 0-4 records against both New Orleans and Atlanta the last two years. Both teams will move to the new NFC South next year.

Now, the biggest questions surround the future coach. Former Florida coach Steve Spurrier does have professional and family ties to the area,, and is the popular choice among fans. Richardson said that they would look at all options and wouldn't be pinned down on Spurrier. But, the "Deep Throat" rumors have already started, saying that Richardson and Spurrier were having dinner at the Palm Restaurant near Richardson's home on Saturday night.

One position many would like to see filled is that of General Manager. Yet, Richardson, again, wouldn't committ to hiring such a person.

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