NFL Rumors: Matt Rhule, Panthers Viewed 'as a Lame Duck Situation' by NFL Coaches

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 12, 2022

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule talks on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
AP Photo/Butch Dill

Matt Rhule remains the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, but some aren't convinced he will be in the position for the long term.

"There were coaches on staff, there were coaches that Matt Rhule wanted to bring in here and talk to like a Thomas McGaughey and a Pep Hamilton that viewed this situation as a lame duck situation and didn’t want any part of it," The Athletic's Joseph Person told Game On with Richmond and John (h/t Anthony Rizzuti of Panthers Wire).

The Panthers have gone 10-23 in two seasons under Rhule, who was hired from the college ranks after spending time at Temple and Baylor.

Rhule initially signed a seven-year deal with the team, although Person reported in December that owner David Tepper is embarrassed by the contract. 

Even if the coach remains for another season, he's clearly still on the hot seat heading into 2022.

Pep Hamilton, a veteran coach at both the professional and college level, reportedly declined an interview with the Panthers and will instead become the offensive coordinator with the Houston Texans. Thomas McGaughey, who spent 2016-17 in Carolina, was considered an option as a special teams coach, but the two sides couldn't come to terms, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Carolina also lost several position coaches from last season, including Tony Sparano Jr., Frisman Jackson and Jason Simmons.

The team still has Phil Snow heading into his third season as defensive coordinator, although he has followed Rhule throughout stints at Temple and Baylor and is unlikely to jump ship. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo also wasn't too sought-after after spending last year as a consultant for the Cowboys, most recently serving as a coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020 when he oversaw the quarterbacks.

The inability to lure top talent to the coaching staff could be a problem that holds Carolina back in 2022.