Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is the epitome of unearned pride.
In recent press conferences, Rhule is tripling down on belief in his process. Never mind this process has so far:
- Produced 10 wins in two seasons.
- Finished 29th in points per game.
- Finished 30th in total offense.
With that being said, Rhule shows pride and negligence when he says things like this in the exit interviews and the post game after losing 41-17 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season finale?
“I’m going to coach until someone tells me I’m not the coach”
“Darnold played well until the turnovers”
“Both of our quarterbacks can do that” (referring to Cam Newton and Sam Darnold’s ability to run)
These comments sum up the Panthers’ 2021 season. Carolina couldn’t get out of their own way, because coach Rhule is too prideful and stubborn to acknowledge that his process isn’t producing anything but a string of losses and scapegoats. Rhule’s pride also gives way to negligence in terms of strategy. Negligence is the only way to describe the rationale of Darnold being in for 4th and 1 instead of Newton, who has 75 rushing touchdowns in his career – with most of them being in short-yardage situations. The outcome of the Tampa game might not have mattered if it were Newton under center instead of Darnold in that instance, but this decision is one of many pixels in the bigger picture of why the Panthers are where they are…lost in the wild of bad decisions from the front office all the way down.
Newton said in his exit interview that the people of Charlotte, North Carolina and South Carolina are owed sustained success.
The question is, will fans be able get that as long as Matt Rhule is at the helm?