5 critical Carolina Panthers observations at the 2022 midseason point

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /
5 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule /

Carolina Panthers should have fired Matt Rhule sooner

It was clear from very early in 2022 that things were not going to improve under Matt Rhule. The head coach has been out of his depth almost from the moment his appointment was confirmed and the Carolina Panthers finally pulled the plug on David Tepper’s expensive experiment after another poor loss against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.

The mess left behind by the former Baylor man is substantial. And recent revelations about his methods behind the scenes painted a bleak picture that is unlikely to see Rhule ever coach in the NFL again.

One only has to look at the culture shift under Steve Wilks to see how much Rhule was holding this team back. And in all honesty, Tepper should have gone in a different direction after the 2021 campaign came to a conclusion.

This would have allowed a new head coach to make the necessary improvements within a collective process alongside Tepper and general manager Scott Fitterer. But the billionaire found it difficult to admit hiring his $62 million man was a grave error in judgment.

Rhule was a master salesman, but the product just wasn’t close to NFL-caliber. A return to the college ranks is the best he can hope for and in truth, it’s where he’s best suited.

Carolina can now move forward with a sense of optimism without Rhule, the latest in a long line of college coaches who failed to make the necessary step up. But it’s vital that Tepper and other influential figures within the franchise get their next appointment right.

Must Read. Carolina Panthers 7-round 2023 mock draft: Life after Christian McCaffrey. light