NFL Rumors: Panthers HC Matt Rhule Not on the Hot Seat 'But Wins Must Come'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 25, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the first half of the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Even after an 0-2 start for the Carolina Panthers, head coach Matt Rhule reportedly isn't on the hot seat.

"Sources informed of the Panthers' thinking say no change is imminent for Rhule, with Panthers owner David Tepper planning to be patient rather than reactionary," Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported. "But wins must come and improvement must be evident."

According to Rapoport, the Panthers' leadership sees the locker room believing in Rhule with clear fight and effort displayed on the field.

This comes despite Rhule falling to 10-25 in his third season with the Panthers after signing a seven-year deal with the team in 2020.

After earning just five wins in each of the first two seasons, Rhule has few excuses after a poor start to 2022. The organization acquired quarterback Baker Mayfield to help improve the offense, but the unit ranks just 29th in total yards this year.

Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post reported it's "increasingly difficult to fathom" Rhule remains with the team much longer. Multiple coaching agents expect the Panthers job to be the first one open this year.

Rhule told reporters after the last game the Panthers are "close" and that they are trying to "get over that last hump."

Some players have also come to his defense, including receiver Robby Anderson.

"I'm playing this game for Coach Rhule more than anything," Anderson said of the team's Week 3 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

It's enough for the Panthers to keep the current course, with Rapoport noting that "it would take an epic collapse or a horribly embarrassing outcome" to make a change.

With just two wins in the last 14 games, Rhule still must find a way to turn things around in Carolina.