Matt Rhule outlines pride in disastrous Carolina Panthers head coaching tenure

This was certainly a strange take from the worst head coach in franchise history.
Matt Rhule
Matt Rhule / Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule outlined his pride in how he handled affairs during his disastrous three years at the helm.

As the Carolina Panthers gear up for their first season under Frank Reich with new hope, their former head coach is also embarking on a different challenge. Matt Rhule is back where he belongs at the college level, where he'll look to get Nebraska back among the playoff hopefuls after signing a lucrative deal to take charge.

Rhule's previous reputation as a program builder with Temple and Baylor served him well in this scenario. His time with the Panthers was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish, which stemmed from egotistical management of team affairs and no accountability whatsoever for his failings.

The record speaks for itself. Rhule was the most disliked head coach in franchise history, with very little success on the field and some bizarre personnel moves that Carolina simply couldn't recover from.

Matt Rhule looks back on Carolina Panthers reign with pride

When speaking about his time in Carolina during a recent appearance on FOX Sports' The Herd, Rhule acknowledged via that things didn't go according to plan. But that doesn't stop him from looking back on a torrid three-year reign with pride.

"Yeah, I really appreciated my time. You know, I hate it for my family that they had to move and move again a couple years later, but you know, Colin, I feel like I’m a much better coach now after having been through that. And you know for me, it was the first time I really had a lot of adversity it also to be able to deal with adversity to be in the pro game. So obviously it wasn’t a success. But I’m proud of what we did there. That’s unique to people maybe, but like I felt like we were heading in the right direction and it didn’t work out. I’m a way better coach now after having been through all of it."

Matt Rhule via

Every time I heard Rhule talk during his Panthers reign, the 'this is fine' dog meme popped into my head. This was and is a man completely oblivious to the general perception - something that's further reflected in player comments about how things were run and how much better Carolina's set-up is under professional NFL coaches who actually know what they are doing.

Being prideful about arguably the worst prolonged bad football product the Panthers have ever seen is certainly an odd approach. However, it's extremely on-brand.

Rhule's claim that the Panthers were heading in the right direction at 1-4 is asinine. Only when Steve Wilks - another genuine football man with far greater credentials - took over did things begin improving.

Again, this tells its own story.

Nobody's going to gain anything from looking back. Carolina's long-suffering fanbase has hope for the first time in years with Reich and rookie quarterback Bryce Young leading the charge, which could see them contend for the NFC South title if everyone stays clear of injuries.

As for Rhule, his salesman-like qualities work much better on impressionable college kids looking to carve out their own path to the pros. But the heat is on to turn his big promises into on-field results with the Cornhuskers - something he was unable to do in Carolina.