6 burning questions Panthers fans are asking after Matt Rhule’s firing

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) David Tepper /

Carolina Panthers’ next big move

Where does David Tepper look now? Another gamble on a college coach? – Mark Stockman

Thank you for your question, Mark.

For the second time since becoming the owner of the Carolina Panthers, David Tepper will be searching for a new head coach to lead the roster.

With Matt Rhule’s firing coming this early in the season, this allows Tepper, general manager Scott Fitterer, and assistant Dan Morgan to take their time and evaluate future options. Interim head coach Steve Wilks will be the top in-house candidate for the job and has the chance to stake his claim over Carolina’s remaining 12 fixtures.

Other options such as former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn have been suggested as potential targets. But which way Tepper goes will be of critical importance.

This will likely define his legacy as the owner of the Panthers to this point. They must get it right, especially with the young cornerstone pieces the team currently possesses on both sides of the ball.

It’s hard to imagine Tepper making the same mistake twice by hiring another college head coach. This should serve as a lesson to not only the billionaire but other owners around the league to be very cautious when it comes to hiring from the collegiate level.

The NFL is a different beast.

There is a lot that can happen between now and the end of the season. Candidates new and old will emerge and who knows, maybe coach Wilks turns things around and the Panthers finish the year on a strong note.

Right now, fans should be patient. This process could take a while.