5 bright spots from the Carolina Panthers defeat at Falcons in Week 8

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Bradley Bozeman /

Carolina Panthers personnel management

Matt Rhule had many struggles during his time as Carolina Panthers’ head coach. But one of the main gripes in hindsight was his inability to get the correct players on the field.

We saw this in 2021 with the offensive line struggling. It was the perfect chance for Rhule and the coaching staff to see what they had in rookie left tackle Brady Christensen. But instead, the former Baylor man persisted with veteran Cam Erving, who to the surprise of no one continued to struggle.

This left new offensive line coach James Campen in a tough position when he took the job. With rookie Ikem Ekwonu battling Christensen at camp, the veteran figure admitted there was more tape of the BYU product. Luckily in this regard, things have worked out with the talented young tandem forming a solid left-sided partnership on the protection.

Even this season we saw Rhule’s inability to get personnel right. Something that’s been exposed further since Steve Wilks took charge.

Namely, the insertion of Bradley Bozeman into the lineup has revitalized this Panthers’ offensive line. Carolina’s best performances have come in back-to-back weeks which has coincided with the former Alabama star starting.

Bozeman had an incredible 93.2 grade according to Pro Football Focus in Week 7, which was the best single-week grade among all NFL centers in 2022 so far. While Pat Elflein had been solid before his injury, it’s clear this spring’s free-agent signing is on another level and should not have been riding the bench while Rhule was coach.