If winning cures all, then losing exposes one of two things:
-The character of a team faced with adversity. Or…
-The issues of the team that need to be addressed.
The Carolina Panthers fall into the latter. This is a team that is spiraling in its adversity and have issues that need addressing. However, they can’t properly address issues by ducking accountability as if it were a persistent bill collector or an extended car warranty telemarketer.
In the midst of Carolina’s shamefully and humiliating 25-3 week 7 loss to the New York Giants, that’s exactly what head coach Matt Rhule did. Here’s what Rhule said after the game. ‘
So if it isn’t about Sam DARNold, then what is Rhule implying here? Could it be that he’s making it about Joe Brady? Judging from the press conference Monday morning, that’s exactly who he’s making it about.
But here’s the thing. You can’t establish the run without a viable passing threat. You can’t establish a viable passing threat with an Offensive Line that’s been a wall of swizz cheese and given up 21 sacks over a five-game span. As a Head Coach, you can’t just stand on the sidelines and expect your coordinators to fix everything while you do nothing to help your own cause in terms of making strategic and recommended adjustments and then prance to the podium after the fact and a day later, throw everybody but Sir Purr under the bus for your failed game plan.
Rule benched Darnold, then said he wasn’t trying to embarrass him and he only wanted to find something of a spark, but ended up embarrassing his QB1 anyway. After all of that, Rhule doubles down and says Darnold will start next week. If you don’t think Darnold is it (he’s not), then why play games with wins at stake and continue to do what you have been doing-which is a whole lot of nothing?
The only answer here is Rhule has too much pride to admit that he and his team have a problem. He has too much pride to admit most of his decisions, strategic wise, haven’t worked. He’s too prideful to go to General Manager Scott Fitterer and say
“get me something to work with on offense. We don’t need another DB!”
The Panthers have, at this point, hit rock bottom. There shouldn’t be any pride left from the coaching staff, because they haven’t earned it. The only thing that they’ve earned and deserved is criticism and scorn.