4 biggest challenges against the Raiders in Week 1

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Joe Brady /

Coaching inexperience

It’s not just on the field where the Carolina Panthers have a relative lack of experience. They brought in a coaching staff that hasn’t really tasted life at the next level in prominent positions before and coming up against an experienced figure such as Jon Gruden is not going to be the easiest of opening challenges.

Matt Rhule comes to the Panthers with a big reputation of building up struggling programs back to prominence. He has been making all the right noises leading up to the 2020 season. But there is just no telling how the team is going to get on following an offseason period of incredible disruption.

The former Baylor man is going to find out quickly the differences between college and the NFL. Rhule is getting a free pass in 2020 in the first year of his rebuild. But he will still need to show he is capable of making the right sort of decisions under pressure.

Expectations could not be higher for offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who arrives in Carolina having masterminded LSU’s passing attack to a historic season and a National Championship. There is an embarrassment of riches for the former New Orleans Saints assistant to call upon, but getting the balance right is going to be crucial.

Defensive coordinator Phil Snow has the stiffest of tasks ahead of him. He must get this young defense together quickly and not having much in the way of knowhow at the pro level after a standout career in college might be another element to keep a close eye on.