NFL Coaching Layoffs, Interviews, Hiring: News on David Culley and the Texans; Giants’ Joe Judge defends himself
When head coaching positions opened up at USC and LSU last fall, Matt Rhule told his Panthers players he could get one of the best college jobs and make more money, but he wanted to be with them in Charlotte. Rhule’s comments made during a team briefing should probably reassure his players of his belief in what he calls “the trial,” which has come under increasing fire as the Panthers have lost 21 of 31 games under Rhule’s tenure.
Rhule was hired in Carolina in 2020 after overseeing the fast windings at Temple and Baylor, but sources say owner David Tepper is unhappy and embarrassed after $ 16 billion hedge fund manager Rhule signed a seven-year deal has given over $ 62 million to help the New York Giants outbid his services. Tepper is apparently planning to give Rhule a third year, with Rhule this week saying the owner has privately expressed “nothing but trust in me and the future and progress.” But the three-month collapse after a 3-0 start has put everyone’s patience to the test, with a Panthers source calling the team’s regression in Rhule’s second season as “clusterfuck”.
A 32-6 loss to Tampa Bay last weekend was the biggest loss of his two seasons, but Rhule said his trial was “1,000 percent”, even if the results don’t show it. There is growing skepticism among some Panthers players as to whether this is the case. Many of the 20+ players, staff, team and league sources interviewed for this story believe the same qualities that made Rhule a successful college coach undermine his efforts in the NFL.
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Trust the process? Matt Rhule is about to make-or-break year 3 after the Panthers regress