Which critical decisions during Matt Rhule’s time as Carolina Panthers head coach played a leading role in his eventual demise?
It was a day of celebration for many Carolina Panthers fans on Monday as team owner David Tepper finally decided to cut ties with Matt Rhule. The beleaguered head coach attained just 11 wins at the helm and a lack of intensity against the San Francisco 49ers proved to be the final straw that sealed the former Baylor man’s fate.
Rhule will be fine. He’s still owed $40 million by the Panthers and is likely to get a top college coaching job soon, which is where he’s best suited and still commands respect.
Steve Wilks is now aiming to repair the significant mess Rhule’s leaving behind in Carolina. He’ll get a good sample size of 12 games to prove his worth, but there are many other candidates set to command interest when the time comes.
With that being said, we picked out five critical decisions that played a leading role in Rhule’s departure.
Critical Decision No. 1
Matt Rhule didn’t adapt to the NFL way
Matt Rhule came into the Carolina Panthers with a strong reputation as a college program builder. One of the primary reasons David Tepper was sold, giving him a seven-year, $62 million contract for good measure.
If Rhule thought these same college methods would work on grown men who’ve already made it, he was mistaken. There was also a distinct lack of ability to make the necessary NFL adjustments, which often left him outcoached and underprepared during games.
Adapt or die is often the case when it comes to the NFL. Unfortunately for Rhule, having his players onside was not enough to gain any sort of success.