4 reasons the Panthers must retool, not rebuild after Matt Rhule’s firing

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper /
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The Carolina Panthers must retool and not tempt themselves into a full-scale rebuild in the wake of head coach Matt Rhule’s firing.

Matt Rhule was a man under enormous pressure heading into the 2022 season. As it turned out, it was a task too great for the head coach and the Carolina Panthers opted to remove him entirely from the equation following a disappointing home loss in Week 5.

While this was the right call under the circumstances, it only clouds what comes next for the Panthers further. Talk of trading some top stars became rife immediately following the news, with Jay Glazer of FOX Sports claiming teams will soon be calling Carolina in the hope of striking a deal.

Carolina isn’t blessed with much draft capital and is currently $17.67 million over the cap in 2023. Something has to give, but there is more than enough talent on this roster to be performing far better than they managed to accomplish under Rhule.

With that in mind, here are four reasons why the Panthers must retool and not rebuild in the wake of Rhule’s firing.

Reason No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Carolina Panthers had a coaching problem

For all the scapegoats and sacrifices, there was one common denominator to the Carolina Panthers’ failings in recent years. Matt Rhule’s coaching methods may have given him the platform for a head coaching gig in the NFL, but these didn’t fly in a professional environment with grown men.

Steve Wilks knows how to be a leader. He was harshly treated by the Arizona Cardinals, so this shift in approach could be all the Panthers need to tap their true potential.

There are still some glaring holes – most notably at the quarterback spot with Baker Mayfield set to miss time. But playing personnel aside from that might not have been the primary complication.