Can ‘alpha’ coaching staff lead Carolina Panthers to success in 2022?

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Ben McAdoo
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Ben McAdoo /

Can a new ‘alpha’ coaching staff lead the Carolina Panthers to bigger and better things during the 2022 season? 

After losing 12 of 14 games to conclude the previous season, things were hanging in the balance for Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. Many outside the organization expected team owner David Tepper to end this seven-year experiment extremely early, but the billionaire opted to hand the former Baylor man one more shot at progression in 2022.

Rhule may be around, but everything around him changed. The Panthers gutted their coaching staff this spring, replacing underperforming individuals with respected figures that have seen it all.

Only defensive coordinator Phil Snow remains in a position of power. Not surprising when one considers the improvements made in certain areas on defense last season and the fact he’s a long-time Rhule loyalist stemming from their time together in college.

Chris Tabor, Ben McAdoo, James Campen, and Steve Wilks all joined the ranks this offseason. These coaches all boast legitimate NFL experience and wasted no time stamping their own mark in Carolina ahead of training camp.

Matt Rhule pleased with revamped Carolina Panthers coaching staff

Although this indicates that Rhule has no more excuses, the head coach is pleased with how the new arrivals have integrated into the set-up so far. What comes next in camp will be more important, but things are seemingly off to a good start.

"“I think the personalities are all coming together in a really nice way. I really like the staff. They’re enjoyable to be around. I think the guys who have been here have done a lot of legwork to get us to this point, where we are right now. The new coaches have been nothing but great.”"

Rhule perhaps gambled too much on young, progressive coaches to make the necessary strides forward in roles of responsibility. Things didn’t go according to plan, which was a mistake the head coach wasn’t going to make again given what’s at stake for him personally next time around.

There was a clear desire to fill these newly vacant spots with people unafraid to become influential and voice their opinions. While this will lead to some interesting discussions behind the scenes, it should be nothing but good news for Rhule depending on how his own coaching methods progress in the not-too-distant future.

"“You never want to be around people that are just yes men. You want to be around alphas, leaders, people with great ideas. At the same time, we’re going to debate, we’re going to argue, we’re going to do all those things. But when we decide something, we’re going to carry it on out.”"

Rhule will benefit. But the players should also get a significant shot in the arm from Carolina’s coaching improvements.

The likes of Wilks, Campen, Tabor, and McAdoo all command instant respect. When they talk, those turning out on the field should listen intently throughout training camp and upon commencing the regular season.

This will be like a breath of fresh air. Something that can get the Panthers all on the same page like never before under Rhule.

Of course, there is still uncertainty about whether Rhule can become a competent head coach. Thanks to the substantial changes across the coaching staff, it won’t be much longer until we find out one way or another.

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