On Monday, Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule wasn’t overly descriptive of his criteria for the team’s offensive coordinator search. But he brought the deats later on in the week.
When on WFNZ’s The Nick Wilson and Stan Norfleet Show this past Thursday, Rhule was asked what he’s looking for in his new play-caller. In addition to wanting prior experience in actually calling plays, he stressed the importance of finding a balance between both sides of the ball.
“Going back to the things we talked about that we didn’t do well—someone that has an emphasis on—you know—we wanna be explosive, we wanna score points,” Rhule said. “We can’t be second in defense and 30th in offense. We wanna be complementary football. I’d rather us be 10 and 10 than two and 30.”
While the Panthers defense clamped down better than any team not named the Buffalo Bills in 2021, their offense was only able to muster up all of 289.9 yards per game. Carolina was also tied for last in passing plays of at 25 yards or more (18) with the Chicago Bears and Tennessee Titans.
“Someone’s that gonna make sure we trend in that direction,” he said. “Someone’s who got a great plan to protect the football while, at the same time, being explosive. Someone that has a great way of protecting the quarterback—both with the players and your protections of the system and your scheme. Those things that we said we didn’t do well, this is an opportunity for us to try and take a step and do them well.
“I want somebody who has experience, who when things go wrong, there’s a way to adjust to them, has answers in their back-pocket. Someone who can get the quarterback to be comfortable and play well. And finally someone who adapts well to the personnel we have.”
To no one’s surprise, the Panthers’ abysmal offensive line—which had almost as many different starting lineups as the team had games played—allowed the most pressures (193) and the fifth-most sacks (52) in the league. That, along with inconsistent quarterback play, led to some underwhelming seasons from wideouts Robby Anderson (519 yards) and Terrace Marshall Jr. (138 yards) as well as any guy who lined up at tight end.
So that to-do list seems like quite a daunting challenge considering the offense’s uncertainty under center, their barely-present star in Christian McCaffrey and a lack of resources to repair that front. But, hey, that’s what a rockstar is for, right?