The Panthers didn’t win much during Matt Rhule’s first two seasons as the team’s head coach, and they’re off to an 0-2 start this year. But it appears his job is secure — for now.
Carolina owner David Tepper is being “patient” and has no plans to fire Rhule, according to NFL Network, despite the team’s 10-25 mark under the former Baylor and Temple head coach. The report says the players still have faith in Rhule, but that “wins must come.”
Baker Mayfield, acquired from the Browns in a trade just before training camp, hasn’t yet shown he can be the answer to the Panthers’ quarterback problems. Through two games, the former No. 1 pick is 30-for-56 with 380 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception while being sacked six times. The Giants held him to 14 completions on 29 attempts for 145 yards last Sunday.
Mayfield, 27, replaced Sam Darnold, the ex-Jets quarterback, who went 4-7 as Carolina’s starter last season while throwing for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
Rhule was also involved in a play-tipping controversy this week after the Giants loss, with ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky indicating the Panthers were giving away whether they were running or passing based on a variation of their shotgun setup. Rhule disagreed, asking reporters, “How come we ran for 146 yards and 6.3 yards per carry?”
The 47-year-old Rhule received a seven-year, $62 million contract from the Panthers in 2020 and also got control of the team’s roster. He has the worst record among those who have coached at least 20 NFL games since the start of the 2020 season, per NFL Network.
The Giants were interested in Rhule before he went to the Panthers and ended up hiring Joe Judge, whom they fired after he went 10-23 over two seasons — the same mark Rhule had with Carolina. New Giants coach Brian Daboll is 2-0 in his first season as an NFL head coach.
The Panthers begin a stretch of three consecutive home games on Sunday, with Carolina hosting New Orleans in Week 3.
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