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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

Matt Rhule responds to ESPN analyst’s big claim about Panthers

Matt Rhule during a game

Aug 27, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are off to an 0-2 start to the season, and ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky believes what he termed “coaching malpractice” is a big reason for that. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule does not see it that way.

During Thursday’s edition of “NFL Live,” Orlovsky shared what he is convinced is evidence that the Panthers were tipping plays in their 19-16 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. The former NFL quarterback said he went through the game film and noticed that the Panthers almost always ran a run play or a run-pass option when Christian McCaffrey was lined up a yard deeper in the backfield than Baker Mayfield. When McCaffrey was lined up at the same depth as Mayfield, Orlovsky says that meant Carolina had called a straight pass play.

You can see the full breakdown below:

Orlovsky sounded quite sure of himself, but Rhule says the analyst is wrong. Rhule responded to Orlovsky in detail on Friday and talked about all the different types of plays the Panthers run from the formations Orlovsky highlighted. The coach made a good point, which is that the Panthers ran for 146 yards and averaged more than 6.0 yards per carry.

If the Panthers were tipping plays, they certainly will not be in their Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints.

Rhule is in his third year as the head coach of the Panthers. The team won just five games in each of his first two seasons. Whether Carolina is or is not tipping plays won’t matter for his future with the Panthers if the results do not improve quickly.


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