The Carolina Panthers are firing head coach Matt Rhule after the team got off to a 1-4 start in 2018. Even though there is still time for him to turn things around, it looks like this could be his last season with the franchise. What does this mean for NFL coaches?
The “joe brady salary” is a headline that makes it clear that firing Joe Brady is the beginning of the end for Carolina Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule.
Head coach Matt Rhule plainly felt he needed to make a change with his Carolina Panthers at 5-7 entering the bye week.
Joe Brady, the Panthers’ offensive coordinator, was dismissed by Rhule, who is in his second season with the team. It was an obvious attempt to mix up his club in order to finish strong in the last five games of the season.
However, it’s a move that also marks the beginning of Rhule’s demise in Carolina.
Matt Rhule and the Carolina Panthers are nearing the conclusion of their season.
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule enters the field at Hard Rock Stadium before a game against the Miami Dolphins | Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Maybe not now, or even towards the conclusion of the season, but it’s easy to see Rhule and the Panthers’ season slipping away.
Simply put, Brady is to blame for Rhule’s 10-18 record as Panthers head coach.
Brady’s firing is supposed to be a catalyst for change inside the organization, but when was the last time a coach dismissed a coordinator in the middle of the season and it resulted in significant positive change? It’s nearly always a move to relieve pressure on the head coach to fire a coordinator in the middle of the season, and that’s exactly what occurred here. Rhule will almost certainly spin it as a win for the Panthers. But the fact is that this is a desperate move by a desperate coach, and desperation isn’t a tactic that leads to lengthy NFL head coaching careers.
“This morning, I spoke with Joe and told him that I have chosen to make a change,” Rhule announced on the team’s website. “I’m appreciative for his time and effort in assisting us in establishing ourselves over the last year and a half.”
In Carolina, Brady didn’t have much to work with.
During a season in which the Panthers had started three different quarterbacks and put Christian McCaffrey on injured reserve, Matt Rhule dismisses famed offensive coordinator Joe Brady. https://t.co/0nJIQZ5JKt
5 December 2021 — Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN)
Brady has been a disappointment on paper. Brady was the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach for the unbeaten Tigers as they won the College Football Playoff title behind Joe Burrow’s arm and receivers like Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. All three of those guys are now playing in the NFL.
LSU’s attack was prolific via the air, averaging 568.9 yards per game and 48.4 points per game under Brady. Rhule offered him the offensive coordinator position with the Panthers the following season as a result of his success at LSU. However, it had to be a difficult move for the erstwhile rising coaching star. Brady has Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback instead of Burrow. Brady has D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson instead of Chase and Jefferson. In 2020, the Panthers scored 21.9 points per game, ranking them 24th out of 32 NFL teams.
In 2021, Brady has only had Christian McCaffrey for seven games and has seen three quarterbacks start for the Panthers (Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, and Cam Newton).
This season, the Panthers are averaging only 19.7 points per game, which has probably contributed to Brady’s firing.
But how much of the blame for the Panthers’ woes should be placed on on Rhule’s shoulders? He’s the head coach, thus he should be responsible for everything.
As the Panthers’ head coach, Rhule has been lackluster.
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule watches the game against the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Rhule was hired out of college because coach performed an outstanding job rebuilding two schools, Temple and Baylor. But, after a season and a half in Carolina, what precisely has he accomplished?
The Panthers were 5-11 last season, which isn’t unexpected given that it was Rhule’s first year in the league, but there were early symptoms of problems. If you’re rebuilding, it’s okay to be a jerk. However, the Panthers went on a five-game losing run in the midst of the season and lost four of their last five games.
That much constant loss in a league renowned for parity indicates a coach who is in over his head.
That’s OK in the first year. However, the Panthers have a four-game losing skid this season, and they’ve lost three of their previous four heading into the bye. That includes a 33-10 defeat to the lowly Miami Dolphins, in which Newton played so badly that he was benched in the fourth quarter, making NFL history in the process.
Rhule is showing to be over his head as an NFL head coach, from losing streaks to making poor judgments at the most crucial position on the team.
Simply said, Rhule hasn’t been effective, and firing Brady isn’t going to alter that.
Because this is the end, it’s time to turn on The Doors. At least, that’s how it started.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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