Confidence is key
It would have been easy for Matt Rhule to become a little bit overawed by the situation he found himself in on Sunday. This was his first time in an NFL environment and with no preseason games on the schedule to acclimatize himself, the head coach is going to be learning as he goes just like the young roster he is taking charge of.
Confidence is key for Rhule and the Carolina Panthers. They have nothing to lose this season with so little expectations on their shoulders. So they can play and coach with a freedom of expression that a team with a more realistic chance of contending cannot do, to a certain extent.
If things don’t go according to plan, so what? Rhule will get far more out of the campaign being bold in terms of finding out about his players and what adjustments are needed rather than an over-cautious approach that will invite pressure.
Going in this direction will do more harm than good to their confidence in the pursuit of becoming a contender once again. Rhule needs to install confidence in not only those who are making plays on the field. But also in himself that he actually belongs at the pinnacle of the game.
The Panthers have bet big that Rhule can lead them back to prominence. And getting a victory at the Buccaneers on Sunday would be a huge shot in the arm.