Since David Tepper took possession of the Panthers in 2018, the NFC South team have recorded four straight losing seasons, and now three straight seasons with at least 11 losses. Matt Rhule has been the head coach of the last two, and it’s possible their 2021 campaign will be even worse than their 5-11 debut in 2020, with Carolina looking to avoid a 12th loss to rival Buccaneers on Sunday. Even so, Tepper will retain Rhule for a third year as head coach in 2022, as CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported in late December.
“The odds of this billionaire remaining standing after (another) lost season (in 2022) – if that were to happen – are dire,” La Canfora wrote. “However, for now, league sources have said Tepper has not indicated any desire to pursue another head coach. This offseason will be all about trying to deliver whatever is needed to transform next year. in a winning season. “
ESPN’s David Newton echoed the sentiment on Saturday, signaling that Carolina intends to keep Rhule regardless of what happens in Week 18, and that the former Baylor head coach “will begin a search depth of an offensive coordinator next week “. Rhule, of course, fired Joe Brady, his handpicked offensive coordinator when he arrived in the NFL, in October.
Athletic’s Joe Person first reported Rhule’s job security before Week 16, noting that while an impatient Tepper had yet to publicly confirm Rhule’s return, all signs were that the coach was getting at least a third season to prove himself. Best known for his quick turnaround times in college football programs at Temple and Baylor, Rhule signed a seven-year, $ 62 million contract to replace Ron Rivera as Panthers coach in 2020, Tepper reportedly also bought out. the Baylor de Rhule deal for $ 6 million.
Carolina was 5-11 in Rhule’s first year with Teddy Bridgewater as quarterback. This season, despite improved defense, his Panthers are 5-11 at the start of Week 18, with Sam Darnold and Cam Newton – the latter on his second stint with the franchise – the trade begins below center.