5 big fears for Carolina Panthers fans during 2021 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Carolina Panthers coaching

There were some mitigating circumstances behind the Carolina Panthers going 5-11 for a second straight year in 2020. A brand new coaching staff had no full offseason to install their ethos on the roster thanks to COVID-19, so it was pretty encouraging that the team was competitive for the most part.

However, the coaching staff showed their naivety at times last season. Something that simply has to change this time around.

Matt Rhule made a good impression and got everyone pulling in the same direction despite the challenging circumstances. He is having a big say in personnel decisions, so if things don’t continue trending on an upward curve in 2021, some significant pressure could be coming his way.

Another who gained a strong reputation was offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The progressive young coach got some head coaching interest this offseason without it ever coming to a deal, but his play-calling left a lot to be desired at times and especially in crucial moments.

The return of Christian McCaffrey should help. And if the tight-end recruits also hit the ground running, it should open up Brady’s playbook an untold amount.

There will be no more excuses for defensive coordinator Phil Snow this season. Carolina’s defense is absolutely stacked with talent and the possibilities are endless regarding situational schemes he can deploy.

Make no mistake, if things turn sour then this trio will carry the can.