Matt Rhule Compares Panthers' Rebuild to Jay-Z's Success: 'It Takes Time'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 26, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 26: Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers walks onto the field before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on December 26, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Carolina Panthers fans needn't worry; Matt Rhule is following the blueprint.

The Panthers head coach made a puzzling analogy following his team's 32-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, which officially eliminated Carolina from playoff contention.

"I believe it's 1,000 percent working, I just know no one can see it and I apologize," Rhule told reporters. "As I tell our team all the time, it took Jay-Z seven years. He had to start his own agency to become an overnight sensation. It takes time."

It's better if you don't think too hard about Rhule's comment because the level of confusion you experience is directly correlated to the time spent parsing it out. Jay-Z may not be the best parable for a coach to use, either, given what he did before hitting it big in the music industry.

More than anything, a message that boils down to "I may need seven years to deliver results" won't exactly inspire a lot of excitement within the fanbase, one that's already voicing its displeasure.

Joe Person @josephperson

Matt Rhule on the booing: Would rather have passion over apathy. <a href="https://t.co/Xjhm83e1n4">pic.twitter.com/Xjhm83e1n4</a>

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Sunday the Panthers aren't planning to fire Rhule but that the "odds of [team owner David Tepper] standing pat after a third straight lost season— should it come to that—are bleak."

Carolina went 5-11 in 2020 and currently occupies last place in the NFC South at 5-10.

The franchise already jettisoned offensive coordinator Joe Brady, and letting a top assistant go is often a head coach's last roll of the dice before the buck stops with him. If the Panthers aren't making progress toward a winning record in 2022, then it's fair to wonder what they'd achieve with another year with Rhule at the helm.

But by his trajectory, he wouldn't even be at the halfway mark on the Jay-Z roadmap for success.