Rhule took the coaching position as the replacement for Ron Rivera after Rivera posted a 5-11 season. In 2020, Rhule’s Panthers finished with an identical 5-11 record. In 2021, it dropped to 5-12.
So far this season, the Panthers are off to a 1-3 start. Panther fans and local media are starting to chirp even more after a 26-16 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals with the schedule only getting tougher these next few weeks as they will face the 49ers, Rams and Buccaneers.
Will Rhule survive the rest of the season? This is a question everybody wants to know the answer. Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson looks at the contenders for the Carolina job.
Panthers owner David Tepper said recently that Rhule was not on any hot seat, and he believes in him long-term. Could it be a factor that Rhule still has $68 million left on his contract? Rhule transformed the Baylor and Temple football program, so a head coaching job back in college is most likely if things don’t work out in the NFL.
Sean Payton possibly wants back in the NFL, just one year after resigning as head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Payton says he wants warm weather, a team built to win, and personnel control, something the Carolina Panthers could be the spot for.
Dan Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator and former head coach of the Falcons, is looking for a lead gig in 2023, knowing he has considerable connections to the Carolina front office.
Shane Steichen, the mastermind behind the Philadelphia Eagles offense and former offensive coordinator for the Chargers, is another name to consider. For a team trying to figure out its offensive identity, Steichen is definitely a name to keep in mind for the Panthers.
Kellen Moore, Cowboys offensive coordinator, is another contender. Moore has helped build Dallas into an offensive powerhouse, regardless of who is in the quarterback position.
On another note, the Panthers could just as easily go back to college ranks. Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell have been on NFL radars or interviewed for past gigs. Jamey Chadwell of Coastal Carolina, the 2020 Associated Press National Coach of the Year, is another thought.
Dabo Swinney, a coach who has left a mark on Clemson forever, is earning $10 million this season after just signing a 10-year extension in September, which currently puts him ahead of all but three NFL coaches in annual compensation.
Ron Rivera knows the Carolina Panthers and had a lot of success there. His time in Washington may be nearing an end with the expectations just not being met there.
Steve Wilks is the defensive pass game coordinator for Carolina, someone who is doing their part. Wilks was a head coach of the Cardinals for one year and was part of the franchise as a defensive coordinator from 2012-17.