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Volume 26 No. 206
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Panthers Ready To Build From Scratch With New Coach Matt Rhule

Tepper said he hired Rhule because of alignment in a shared vision of how the franchise should operate
Photo: PANTHERS
Tepper said he hired Rhule because of alignment in a shared vision of how the franchise should operate
Photo: PANTHERS
Tepper said he hired Rhule because of alignment in a shared vision of how the franchise should operate
Photo: PANTHERS

The Panthers have officially introduced new coach Matt Rhule and now have an "expansion-team vibe, with plenty of references to blank slates, open canvases and building things from scratch," according to Scott Fowler of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Panthers Owner David Tepper said, "We're in the building process here, and sometimes you have to tear things down to build them up." Tepper signed Rhule to a seven-year contract, which is a "good thing, because this is going to take awhile." As the head coach at Temple and Baylor, Rhule brought both teams "all the way out of the doldrums by Year 3, winning at least 10 games in both cases." Panthers GM Marty Hurney on the impact Rhule can have on the franchise said, "We sort of have an open canvas" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/9).

TEPPER GOT HIS GUY: THE ATHLETIC's Jourdan Rodrigue wrote Rhule is the "physical manifestation of Tepper's desire for change on the football field." His seven-year contract, worth $62M, only sets his "expectations higher." Rodrigue: "Why did Tepper believe that Rhule was the person for this job? Why did Marty Hurney jump on board mid-interview, going all-in with his owner on the hire?" Tepper said that the reason was "alignment in a shared vision." During his interview, Rhule was "organically repeating the same principles Tepper has carried with him in shaping the business of the Panthers for the last year and a half." Just as Tepper has "tweaked and prodded the business model ... to align his vision, he decided he needed a head coach who has a track record of doing the same" (THEATHLETIC.com, 1/8).