5 critical observations from Carolina Panthers OTAs on Wednesday

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Matt Rhule taking a more personal approach

There is no denying the fact that Matt Rhule is a man under pressure. Team owner David Tepper still appears confident in the head coach despite 10 wins from his first two seasons, but any more underachievement will not be tolerated by a fanbase that is becoming increasingly disenchanted with the way things are being run.

Rhule gutted his coaching staff this offseason, surrounding himself with experienced figures that boast a wealth of fine accomplishments during their time in the league. Something that should help the coach enormously during the upcoming campaign.

The offseason has also been one of self-reflection for the former Baylor man, who has adopted a more personal approach this time around in the hope it can help in some way.

"“I think the biggest thing that I’ve tried to do this OTAs is really focus on players and focus on my relationship with the players. Whether that’s going golfing every week with a different group of guys, or going to dinner or spending time. I think those are things that have helped me have success in the past. Having interpersonal contact is key. No one can minimize; I don’t care what business you’re in. And you build relationships with propinquity and proximity and spending time together.”"

Whether this amounts to any genuine progress next season is debatable. But developing closer relationships with the players working under him will not hurt Rhule in the slightest.

Much more will be needed, obviously. Even if this does appear to be a big step in the right direction and a strong sign that Rhule is willing to change his ways after a difficult period of adjustment.