Carolina Panthers relied too much on Matt Rhule’s former college links
A new head coach always comes with a fresh set of ideas. In Matt Rhule’s case, it was clear he was keen on surrounding himself with familiar faces from his college days at Temple and Baylor in pursuit of smoothing his own transition to the professional ranks.
The Carolina Panthers have perhaps been overreliant on this over the last two years. Very few ended up making telling contributions, which has complicated matters to a certain extent despite the positives.
Rhule added a couple more old faces from his college days to the Panthers this offseason. Speedy cornerback Kalon Barnes was selected in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft and could become a special teams presence right out of the gate, with Matt Ioannidis set to form a defensive tackle partnership with Derrick Brown following his release by the Washington Commanders.
This also applied to the coaching staff. Something else that’s been rectified this spring with a complete overhaul that sees Carolina boasts far more legitimate NFL experience than ever before, which will help an untold amount.
Adding people he’d worked with before was a nice security blanket for Rhule. But with the stakes higher next season, there doesn’t appear to be another scapegoat left if things continue trending on a downward curve.