5 burning questions Panthers fans are asking ahead of Week 3 vs. Saints

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Matt Rhule’s job security with the Carolina Panthers

Why is Matt Rhule still Carolina Panthers’ head coach? – Joey Pardun

Thank you for your question, Joey!

This is one that everyone within the Carolina Panthers has been asking since the end of the last season. Why is Matt Rhule still the head coach of this team?

Franchise owner David Tepper wanted to make a splash hire after firing Ron Rivera at the end of the 2019 season. He did so by hiring the former Baylor head coach to go along with a massive seven-year contract with the idea that the Carolina Panthers would be in a long rebuild.

However, questions arose as to how patient Tepper would be when it came to the rebuild. When he first arrived in Charlotte, one of the first things he said was wanting a strong culture within the organization. Entering his fifth year as owner, the franchise has yet to establish a winning record since 2017.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was a fan of the Rhule hiring and defended him as a coach for a good year and a half. I’m sure others were doing the same.

The idea behind the hiring was Rhule would similarly build the team to what he did with Temple and Baylor. The only problem is that the NFL is not college football.

There was hope with how close the Panthers came to winning games in Rhule’s first season that those close losses would become triumphs eventually. Through his first two games of his third season in Carolina, those close losses continue to occur. Sunday afternoon at the New York Giants was a prime example.

The Panthers have a Rhule problem. The lack of discipline in situational football occurrences has been baffling for the last two years. He created competition at positions that shouldn’t have had them during training camp, creating a lack of chemistry with the first-team offense through two games.

He even threw former franchise quarterback, Cam Newton, under the bus multiple times last season when filling in for the injured Sam Darnold.

I’ll put it bluntly: the Panthers are starting to look like a college program instead of an NFL franchise with how Rhule has micromanaged the personnel on both sides of the ball.

A 10-25 record in two seasons plus the first two games of the 2022 season isn’t going to cut it. Rhule is on borrowed time in Carolina.

As harsh as this may sound if his team isn’t able to win over the next couple of weeks, expect the third-year coach to be either a top candidate for the Nebraska gig or an Alabama analyst under Nick Saban.