Week 10 spotlight: Panthers HC Matt Rhule is just getting started

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Matt Rhule
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Matt Rhule /

Sunday, Nov 15. 3-6. 87. 6-3. 48. FOX. 1 PM ET. Buccaneers -5.5

Matt Rhule has built a reputation for flipping programs from bad to great and moving on.

Matt Rhule rebuilt Temple from a two-win season in his first year to back-to-back 10-win seasons. Then he transformed Baylor from 1-11 in his first year to 11-3 in his last year, a program that seemed impossible to rejuvenate at the time.

Whatever you think of Rhule as a coach, the fact is wherever he goes, he knows how to turn around a program and in a fairly quick fashion.

For the Carolina Panthers, the rebuild for a moment started to progress quicker than expected, and the season’s expectations quickly rose. However, after four straight losses, the 2020 campaign aligns closer to the expectations at the beginning of the year.

Matt Rhule is fixing the Carolina Panthers’ foundation.

Fans might believe the season took an unexpected turn after the three-game win streak, but Rhule is precisely where he likes to be, the foundation stage. This is easily the most boring stage of the process for fans, but it’s critical to future success.

Rhule right now is is the process of building a structured foundation for a possible postseason berth sooner rather than later. He took all defensive players in his first draft—something the Panthers have never done in their previous 25 drafts and was a first across the league.

Creating an identity for a team is difficult, and especially for a young roster.

When Rhule arrived, the Panthers lacked an identity, and a little over halfway through the season, they are now known for being gritty and tough. They fight on almost every down.

Again, Rhule flips programs from bad to great. The process takes time. But there’s no reason to believe the Panthers aren’t on the right track to success in the future.

Sure, the year won’t sit atop the flashiest years in Panthers’ history, but it’ll build a solid foundation that makes the team compete every season for years to come. This is something Ron Rivera never accomplished after failing to post back-to-back winning seasons during his tenure.

In Rhule’s first year, he’s competed in almost every game.

The Panthers have only lost in one where it was more than a single possession. In Carolina’s 11 losses last year, they were beaten five times by more than one score.

Further proof that the foundation has improved drastically.

The fun and exciting moves will come in the years ahead. But don’t forget about the most crucial year for the Panthers’ rebuild, which is obviously the first.

A year where critical pieces like Derrick Brown, Jeremy Chinn, and many more earn valuable experience and game time to help the Panthers succeed down the line.

Stay calm. Be patient.

The Panthers’ rebuild is happening in front of our eyes, and the critical pieces are in place for the future. There’s no need to overreact to a losing record this year.

Matt Rhule will have the Panthers’ a winning record soon enough. He’s turned around organizations before, and he’ll do it again. Carolina just hopes he’ll stay around longer this time.