Can the ‘alpha’ coaching staff lead the Carolina Panthers to progress in 2022?
Can a new ‘alpha’ coaching staff lead the Carolina Panthers to bigger and better things in the 2022 season?
After losing 12 of 14 games to wrap up the previous season, things were up in the air for the Carolina Panthers head coach. Matt Rhule. Many outside the organization expected team owner David Tepper to end the seven-year experiment early, but the billionaire opted to hand over the former Baylor man one more boost to progress in 2022.
Rhule may be there, but everything has changed around him. The Panthers gutted their coaching staff this spring, replacing underperforming individuals with respected figures who have seen it all.
Only defensive coordinator Phil Snow remains in a position of power. Not surprising when you consider the improvements made in some areas of defense last season and the fact that he’s a longtime Rhule loyalist from their time together in college.
Chris Tabor, Ben McAdoo, James Campen and Steve Wilks have all joined the ranks this offseason. These coaches all have legitimate NFL experience and wasted no time making their own mark in Carolina before training camp.
Matt Rhule happy with overhaul of Carolina Panthers coaching staff
Although this indicates that Rhule has no more excuses, the head coach is satisfied with the way the newcomers have integrated in the configuration so far. What comes next at camp will be more important, but things seem to be off to a good start.
“I think the personalities all come together in a really nice way. I really like the staff. They are pleasant to be around. I think the guys who have been here have done a lot of legwork to get us to this point, where we are right now. The new coaches have been just brilliant.
Rhule may have relied too heavily on young, progressive coaches to make the necessary progress in leadership roles. Things didn’t go to plan, which was a mistake the head coach wasn’t going to make again given what was at stake for him personally next time around.
There was a clear desire to fill these newly vacant positions with people who weren’t afraid to become influential and speak their minds. While this will lead to some interesting behind-the-scenes discussions, it should only be good news for Rhule depending on how his own coaching methods progress in the not-too-distant future.
“You never want to be around people who are just yes-men. You want to be around alphas, leaders, people with big ideas. At the same time, we’re going to debate, we’re going to argue, we’re going to do all these things. But when we decide on something, we will see it through.
Rhule will benefit. But players should also get a significant boost in the arm from Carolina’s coaching improvements.
The likes of Wilks, Campen, Tabor and McAdoo all command instant respect. When speaking, those who show up on the field need to listen carefully throughout training camp and into the start of the regular season.
It will be like a breath of fresh air. Something that can put the Panthers on the same page as never before under Rhule.
Of course, there are still uncertainties about whether Rhule can become a competent head coach. Thanks to the substantial changes in the coaching staff, it won’t be long before we find out one way or another.