Carolina Panthers: Matt Rhule has plenty at stake down the stretch

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

How has Rhule fared in 2020?

It wasn’t the easiest of situations to be walking into for Matt Rhule. The Carolina Panthers were going through arguably their biggest transition in recent memory and the locker room was decimated of prominent leaders in a bid to get them back to relevance.

Couple this with a limited offseason program, no preseason games, and a coaching staff that had next to no experience at the next level, and it wasn’t hard to see why expectations were so low for the Panthers going into the campaign.

Their current record might not suggest it.

But this is a team heading in the right direction.

Rhule can take great comfort in the fact that he has a young, athletic core that can be a solid foundation from which to build. They’ve been highly competitive without quite getting themselves over the line in big moments and once Carolina figures this out, it should come with more wins in the column.

That might not come this season. But with another strong period of free agency and some exciting young recruits coming in during the 2021 NFL Draft, contending for honors might not be that far away.

It’s been a steep learning curve for everyone involved, Rhule included. There are some situations the coach would like to have back – especially during their close-fought defeats – but this will stand him in good stead with more expectations coming his way next time around.