On Monday’s Charlotte Sports Today, the topic of Panthers tight end usage in 2023 came up. Since Greg Olsen left the Panthers in 2019, the Panthers have been one of the worst teams when it comes to tight end production in the NFL.
In 2020, the Panthers tight ends produced 27 receptions, 204 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In 2021, Panthers TEs totalled 38 receptions, 368 yards, and one touchdown. 2022 saw an uptick, with 50 total receptions , 517 yards and 3 touchdowns. Over the last three seasons, the Panthers have averaged just 38.33 receptions, 363 receiving yards and two touchdowns per year.
With the addition of new head coach Frank Reich, as well as the free agent signing of Hayden Hurst, most expect the Panthers tight end production to have a significant uptick this upcoming season. Looking back to the offenses that Frank Reich has helmed, both as an offensive coordinator and as a head coach, his team’s have consistently made better use of his tight ends than the Panthers have in recent years.
Frank Reich has served as OC or head coach in the NFL for 7+ seasons. Excluding last season, when he was replaced halfway through the season in Indianapolis, every season has produced more tight end receptions than the Panthers have had in any of their last three seasons.
Going back to 2014, when Coach Reich first took over as the Chargers offensive coordinator, all but one of his seasons have had at least 80 receptions by tight ends, and four of the years, his tight ends had more than 100 receptions, more than double the Panthers’ best year in tight end production in the post-Olson era. In the eight full seasons with Frank Reich in control of an NFL offense, his tight ends have scored 84 TDs, an average of 10+ TDs per season. Given the Panthers have six total tight end touchdowns in the last three years, it’s reasonable to expect that the Panthers tight ends will outperform their recent seasons, especially now that they’re now actually being coached.
Panthers Recent Tight End Production
2020 – Ian Thomas (20 receptions) – Total: 27 receptions / 2 TDs
2021 – Tommy Tremble (20), Ian Thomas (18) – Total: 38 receptions / 1 TD
2022 – Ian Thomas (21), Tommy Tremble (19), Giovanni Ricci (8), Stephen Sullivan (2) -Total: 50 receptions / 3 TDs
Frank Reich’s Tight End Production
2014 – San Diego – Antonio Gates (69 receptions), Ladarius Green (19), 2 others (2 total) – Total: 90 receptions / 13 TDs
2015 – San Diego – Antonio Gates (56), Ladarius Green (37), 2 others (11 total) – Total: 104 receptions / 10 TDs
2016 – Philadelphia – Zach Ertz (78), Trey Burton (37), Brent Celek (14) – Total: 129 receptions / 5 TDs
2017 – Philadelphia – Zach Ertz (74), Trey Burton (23), Brent Celek (13) – Total: 110 receptions /14 TDs
2018 – Indianapolis – Eric Ebron (66), Jack Doyle (26), Erik Swoope (8), Mo Alie-Cox (7) – Total: 107 receptions / 20 TDs
2019 – Indianapolis – Jack Doyle (43), Eric Ebron (31), Mo Alie-Cox (8) – Total: 82 Receptions / 7 TDs
2020 – Indianapolis – Trey Burton (28), Mo Alie-Cox (31), Jack Doyle (23) – Total: 82 receptions / 8 TDs
2021 – Indianapolis – Jack Doyle (29), Mo Alie-Cox (24), Kylen Granson (11) – Total: 64 receptions / 7 TDs
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