How much can the Carolina Panthers trust Matt Rhule in 2022?

(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

How much can the Carolina Panthers trust Matt Rhule to get things right during his third season as head coach in 2022?

Matt Rhule is feeling the heat as he goes into his third season as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. A 10-23 record over his first two years at the helm is unacceptable and the former Baylor man has not been able to figure out the quarterback position ever since he signed a bumper seven-year, $62 million deal.

With such inconsistent quarterback play, it’s tough to put all the blame on Rhule. The NFL is a quarterback-driven league and you live and die production at the most important position in football.

His newest acquisition is Baker Mayfield, who should be the best signal-caller he’s had since coming into Carolina. The Oklahoma product has proven he can lead a team to the playoffs and even helped the Cleveland Browns to their first playoff win since 1994 in a loaded AFC during the 2020 campaign.

If Mayfield can keep a chip on his shoulder and not get complacent with sustaining health throughout the season, it might be enough for the Panthers to progress and for Rhule to save his job.

Carolina Panthers are banking on Matt Rhule to deliver in 2022

Rhule has shown in his previous stops at Temple and Baylor that he can turn around a program without having the five or four-star players other college powerhouses possessed. Year 3 has always been his breakout one, but the NFL is much different and there should be some concern if Carolina cannot push for a wild card spot.

As Urban Meyer famously said last season, it’s “Alabama every week” in the NFL.

All the pieces are there for the Panthers to make improvements. The question is whether or not Rhule can adapt to the NFL as he did in college.

If not, then Rhule might find himself back with a college program in 2023 as you don’t get four chances to make a go of things with so many top coaches looking for opportunities.

Rhule went out this offseason and hired experienced NFL coaches to his staff, replacing many of those he brought in from his first year. Ben McAdoo, Chris Tabor, and Steve Wilks just to name a few.

Each coach appointed should help tremendously in the development of players to hit their highest potential. They know what it takes to win at the next level and that’s what Rhule needs.

Special teams should be much better than last year under Tabor. Carolina’s offense should take a big leap in production as McAdoo knows how to win games and help quarterbacks thrive within his system.

Joe Brady was in over his head while McAdoo has the experience and resume turning an offense around as he did For the New York Giants under Tom Coughlin. The need for NFL experience was essential and Rhule did just that, which could propel this team to a wild card spot.

Of course, this all points the finger squarely at Rhule. There are no more excuses, so we’ll find out once and for all if he has what it takes to be a competent head coach.

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