Matt Rhule and Phil Snow on October 10th, 2022 were fired, for the majority of Carolina Panthers fans, these firings come as a sign of relief and an increased feeling of optimism among the Panthers faithful. But, several questions remain.
The main question is What could the Panthers look like in the future? Some individual questions break down this broader question. Who are the interim head coach and defensive coordinators? How will the Rhule era be remembered in Carolina? What do we do with Baker? What could this team look like in the future? What could happen on defense, with Snow being fired?
What could the Panthers look like in the Future?
Now, when answering this question there are several routes that the team could take. One of those routes is blowing it all up and starting from scratch.
If the team takes this approach, this would include potentially trading notable players, for example, Christian McCaffery, D.J Moore, and Robby Anderson there are rumors that McCaffery could be tarded to several teams one prominent team being the Buffalo Bills this option would also include cleaning house meaning everyone would be fired. Another option could be riding out the season with the current players on the roster and building the team around key players.
What could happen on defense, with Snow being fired?
To answer this question we have to look at what Snow’s defensive scheme looked like, and what Al Holcomb’s scheme may look like. Phil Snow ran a 4-3 defense otherwise known as the default defensive alignment. With Holcomb now in charge, the Panthers are going to run something similar to a 4-3 defense with still over half of the NFL season left.
Who are the interim head coach and defensive coordinators?
With Rhule and Snow being fired the question remains Who will take over head coaching and defensive coordinator duties? The Panthers have already named AI Holcomb as defensive coordinator and Steve Wilks as head coach.
Wilks has 25 years of coaching experience, including a season as a head coach, something Rhule didn’t have when got the job as Carolina head coach, Wilks was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals during the 2018 NFL season he went 3-13 and fired after that season. He happens to be a Charlotte Native and came back to the Panthers in the 2022 off-season as a secondary coach.
Before Holcomb became the interim defensive coordinator, he was a defensive running game assistant. It is worth noting Holcomb was the defensive coordinator in 2018 when Wilks was the head coach with the Arizona Cardinals.
Although the Arizona defense in 2018 was ranked last, he didn’t have the talent with that defense that he does with the Panthers.
What do we do with Baker?
Our quarterback situation has been awful, the question is what do we do with Baker? Baker Mayfield has shown these past few weeks that he isn’t the answer in Carolina. There is still a chance Mayfield can get better with the new coaching staff. But, that seems unlucky. There are two options the Panthers could pursue.
One option is letting Baker walk after one year and finding his replacement whether that’s in the Draft or Free Agency, the second option letting baker play and having Matt Corral sit behind Mayfield then, once Corral is ready he obtains Mayfield’s job. But with the Panthers currently occupying the first draft pick the first option seems more feasible.
How will the Rhule Era Be Remembered in Carolina?
The Rhule era in Carolina will be remembered as nothing short of disastrous, from the questionable player personal decisions to horrible play calling, to screwing up Matt Corral’s rookie year. Those are just a multitude of reasons why Matt Rule was fired and what his era will be remembered as.
So to answer the question What could the Future look like? the future cannot be predicted but, Wilks seems to be an upgrade over Rhule, which means that the Panthers should at least be somewhat better than they were under former head coach Matt Rhule.