4 major surprises from Carolina Panthers 2022 training camp so far

(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu
(Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Carolina Panthers HC Matt Rhule’s demeanor

There’s no doubt Matt Rhule is a man under pressure to get things right. Team owner David Tepper invested a significant amount of resources to get the head coach from Baylor, which has come with just 10 wins over his first two seasons and plenty of calls for change that weren’t answered once the 2021 season concluded.

Whether this was getting to Rhule – who remained confident he’d get another year – is debatable. But there does appear to be a different demeanor to the man at the helm this time around in training camp.

Rhule is more concise in front of the media, which has helped avoid the bizarre soundbites that were a microcosm of the complete capitulation the Panthers went through last season. He’s also lost a significant amount of weight and looks refreshed, which could stand him in good stead ahead of a make-or-break campaign.

The Panthers are expecting bigger things from Rhule and the team in 2022. Year 3 is where his program building began to make strides in college and unless the same happens to Carolina, the calls to remove him from the equation will be louder than ever before.

Rhule has gone with a completely different, player-centered approach this offseason. Having dependable coaches with legitimate NFL experience is another positive working in his favor.

But when push comes to shove, all anybody will care about is Carolina’s record.