Carolina Panthers cultural reorientation explained

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /

The Carolina Panthers dynasty has to start somewhere, so who will be the new king? Not a player and here’s why.

Let me begin by saying that I am personally not a fan of watching a bunch of players loyal to the Carolina Panthers get kicked out and alienated from the team. However, I’m even less a fan of watching the team stockpile Pro Bowl talent to look amazing on paper only for fans to start pointing fingers and saying players are “past their prime” when the team starts losing.

This method has not worked for the last three seasons. Due in part to the lack of cap space available for signing enough talent to pump “star power” into all of the position groups in need. However, it’s mostly due to the fact that the team relies too much on the players for motivation and direction rather than the coaches.

Both of the teams who reached Super Bowl LIV both had one thing in common: the focal point of their success was the coaches rather than players. Team players got their props when their teams won, but Robert Saleh, Eric Bieniemy, Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan were all heavily credited for creating winning environments for their teams and the players attested to it all season.

Rather than having a team of individuals playing for each other while relying on the alpha dog players to come through in a pinch. The front office wants to create a team of individuals who want to play for a coaching staff that holds sovereignty over the team spirit and truly believes they can command a win in any situation. It’s important for players to want to play with each other and it’s good to see players construct camaraderie without being told to, but when it’s all said and done the coaches need to be the ultimate motivators of the team.

Why? Because players get injured, players get traded and players retire. They have a shelf life. Coaches can leave too, but if the team has a chance to establish a sovereignty of coaches rather than a sovereignty of players then it increases the likelihood of creating sustainable success.

A lot of the recent signings are people who’ve played for new coach Matt Rhule and who would be willing to “run through a wall” for him. The front office also went out and got themselves offensive and defensive masterminds to command their respective charges strictly from the sideline. After this season is over, then the culture of being excited to play for a venerated coaching staff rather than being excited to play with a field legend will catch on.

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This also decreases the likelihood of having to compromise cap space by locking up one player and betting on that one person to stay healthy and play at a high level for their entire tenure. It’ll also make it easier to recruit free agents at reasonable prices because word will spread about how great it is to be a member of the Panthers.

Again, I am not a fan of watching the team toss good players to the side without a ring like they’ve been doing, but a lot of it has been done already and it’s better that the team does their best to prevent it from happening in the future. In a year or two the team should be able to produce the dynastic success they’ve been looking for and bittersweet Panthers endings will only be a myth of a time passed.

dark. Next. Rhule Building A Competitive Roster

By this time next year the Panthers won’t just have a few players willing to run through a wall for Rhule, they’ll have an entire team of willing individuals. That’s where it starts.