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#pounditMonday, January 30, 2023

Panthers’ reported stance on head coach Matt Rhule revealed

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

Matt Rhule is likely coaching for his job in his third year with the Carolina Panthers, but it does not sound like those working above him consider him to be on the hot seat — at least not yet.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Sunday that Panthers owner David Tepper is planning to be patient with Rhule despite the team’s 0-2 start to the season.

Rhule has not lost the locker room, which is why sources told Rapoport it would take an “epic collapse” for the coach to be fired in the near future. That said, the Panthers obviously have to turn things around in order for Rhule to keep his job long-term.

The Panthers won just five games in each of their first two seasons under Rhule. They have had major quarterback issues since he was hired, and Baker Mayfield has not looked like an improvement in that department for Carolina through the early part of the season.

Rhule has control of roster decisions, which can work against coaches in situations like his. If the Panthers have another losing season, he will not be able to point the finger at anyone but himself.

One ESPN analyst believes he discovered an example of “coaching malpractice” with the Panthers this week, though Rhule offered a strong rebuttal.


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