Matt Corral deserves a coach like Frank Reich after luckless start

Matt Corral
Matt Corral / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After a luckless start to his NFL journey, quarterback Matt Corral deserves a head coach like Frank Reich heading into his second campaign with the Carolina Panthers.

One could forgive Matt Corral for feeling a little down with the way things unfolded after the Carolina Panthers traded up to No. 94 overall for the quarterback in 2022. Optimism surrounding the pick quickly turned to dismay through no real fault of his own, which left the player's career prospects hanging in the balance after just one season.

Corral's reps were seriously mismanaged by Matt Rhule last summer. The lame-duck coach moved forward with a quarterback competition between Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield in one last attempt to save his job, which went as many expected.

This left the Ole Miss product on the outside looking in. Worse was to come during a preseason game against the New England Patriots when Corral suffered a significant foot fracture that ruled him out for the entire campaign.

So much has changed for the Panthers since that ill-fated moment. Rhule is thankfully gone, the roster looks far different, and Bryce Young became the No. 1 overall selection and Carolina's new face of the franchise under center.

Carolina Panthers QB Matt Corral must overcome more adversity

Obviously, this isn't good for Corral's chances of involvement. The player reflected as much during his first media availability in time on Monday, but any notions of being traded aren't being entertained - even if the decision is out of his hands.

In a weird way, this is a good situation for Corral. This is thanks in no small part to the presence of a professional head coach who played the position as a starter and backup before moving into coaching.

Frank Reich is eager to see what Corral can do. A primary reason for the Panthers releasing Jacob Eason was to get the former third-round selection more reps, which came after the two sat down to discuss what comes next and how things could evolve.

While Reich didn't give much away when discussing the details of their meeting, the respected figure did offer Corral some sound advice via Darin Gantt of If the quarterback had any sense, it's something he'll take on board and react accordingly.

"Matt's got a great attitude about it. His perspective is what it needs to be. And you know, my only two cents that I would say would be, you've got to play the long game; it's a long season, it's a long career. Just do the next right thing, get better every day, work hard out of practice, learn this offense, execute, and be a good teammate; you can play in this league a long time. And this is the same for every player at every position; you do that, and then be ready when your opportunity comes. And make the most of it."

Matt Corral via

The last few months have been undeniably difficult for Corral. But he's come out on the other side thanks to steely determination, tremendous resolve, and extremely high character. These are traits that every NFL team looks for in their men under center.

Corral got another boost with the new NFL rule that permits a third quarterback to be activated on an emergency basis next season in the event injury strikes. Hopefully, that won't be the case, but it should ensure Carolina takes him onto their 53-man roster when push comes to shove.

Things couldn't have gone much worse for Corral. But the only way is up from here and few would argue he doesn't deserve a supremely gifted head coach such as Reich after a turbulent start to his NFL journey.

What comes next? That's ultimately up to Corral.