The Matt Rhule experiment is now officially over in Carolina. The Panthers have decided to move on from their head coach after a very bad 1-4 start to their season. There was some excitement with Baker Mayfield coming over to supplant Sam Darnold at the starting quarterback position, but it just didn’t end up helping at al. They still only won one of their first five games with that victory being shaky as well.
Now, the hiring of Rhule was questionable to being with. He signed onto a seven-year; $62 million dollar deal back in 2020. That’s never really a good sign for a team to do especially when the coach in question has no professional experience. Rhule was excellent for both Temple and Baylor and was known to be a savior of teams. It’s why they jumped the gun on hiring him.
The success just didn’t follow this time. Over his two plus seasons, he had an 11-27 overall record. Back-to-back years saw him post just five-win seasons. Oh, and he’s now the first Panthers head coach to serve fewer than three full seasons. Carolina has been in the bottom five of offense every year since Rhule came around. They rank in the bottom of the barrel of every single stat such as points per game, yards per game, third-down percentage, red-zone percentage and passer rating.
Matt Rhule Wasn’t Only To Blame
Rhule put the blame on their offensive coordinator Joe Brady, firing him in 2021. However, we all knew back then that this was a bit of a scapegoat move to make. The same goes for the trade for Baker and now how everybody has sort of started to blame solely him for the offensive woes. Mayfield is certainly the problem without a doubt, but this is a bad offensive situation going on in Carolina that isn’t one person’s fault.
Multiple other quarterbacks have started and failed with this offense since Rhule has been there. The first was Teddy Bridgewater who is known for being a solid bridge signal caller. Christian McCaffrey wasn’t healthy at all during this year so Bridgewater was left with practically zero talent around him. Then Darnold stepped up to the plate and started out with a hot 3-0 record. Though they fell consistently after that and ended 5-12. Even Cam Newton was sent out there to start for a few games and had one good performance, but then instantly fell back down to what everybody expected from him when he signed on.
Don’t feel terrible for Rhule though. He is still expected to receive $40 million of this contract from the Panthers. Even when losing, the man was able to make a bag in his less than three seasons of coaching in the NFL. Plus, he is already receiving HEAVY interest from colleges to get him back into their program. It likely won’t take much time for him to find another coaching gig at some type of team or program. Bottom line though, this entire situation has been a massive swing and a miss for the Panthers. Who might even go into a rebuild at this stage.
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