The Carolina Panthers haven’t had much cause for celebration under head coach Matt Rhule, especially on offense. And even when they do have that cause, as they did on Saturday, it’s pretty fleeting.
Quite the scene broke out during scrimmage action this morning, immediately after quarterback Baker Mayfield found receiver Rashard Higgins for a beauty of a 50-yard touchdown pass. The score prompted what was a particularly jubilant celebration from the wideout and his teammates, one—in fact—worthy enough of a taunting penalty from a camp official.
That, in turn, ticked off Rhule—who halted practice, yelled at his players and made his offense run the sidelines.
Celebration gate update: Higgins also extended the ball as he walked into the end zone. Matt Rhule did not like that. https://t.co/wnNaeCzssg
— Ellis L. Williams (@BookofEllis) August 6, 2022
Rhule told reporters following practice that although celebrations are encouraged, they must come at the right time.
“We’re not a team that reaches the ball across the goal line,” he said. “I told the guys, ‘Hey, after you score a touchdown, celebrate. Have fun today.’ This isn’t a true game, but we’re playing it like a game in between the white lines and so. Great play by Higgy. He made a great touchdown catch. But I just wanted to make sure they all understood we won’t win if we don’t protect the football.
“Sometimes as a coach too, you just gotta make sure the intensity stays throughout the whole practice,” he added with a smirk. “But I wanted the defense to understand we can’t give up explosives and the offense to understand we don’t celebrate until after the play is over.”