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Carolina Panthers fire head coach Matt Rhule

This seemed inevitable

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have fired (now former) head coach Matt Rhule after a terrible 1-4 start to the season.

The New York City native and former New York Giants coach (Rhule was a part of Tom Coughlin’s staff in 2012) is the first coach fired in the 2022 season.

Rhule was hotly pursued during the 2020 head coaching cycle and was widely considered to be the Giants’ first choice for head coach that year. The Giants chose to not match the massive seven-year, $62 million contract offered to Rhule by the Panthers. Instead, the Giants quickly moved to hire Joe Judge away from the New England Patriots.

Rhule came to the NFL with the reputation as a “program builder” after his work elevating Temple and resurrecting Baylor following the scandal-plagued end to Art Briles tenure at the school. However, he was unable to replicate that success at the NFL level. The Panthers struggled with a confused (at best) quarterback situation that was only slightly compensated for by their defense.

Rhule’s firing seemed inevitable after a stumbling start to the season. They simply did not appear to ready to play football when they met the Giants in Week 2 and haven’t played up to the talent level on their roster.

Steve Wilks, the Panthers’ defensive passing game and secondary coach, and former Arizona Cardinals head coach, will be their interim head coach. Week 6 is very early for the Coaching Carousel to start spinning, but it seems the Panthers aren’t wasting any more time in hitting the “reset” button on their franchise. Hopefully the Giants don’t lose any coaches to the carousel this year, but it wouldn’t be a surprise, given how well they’ve been coached to start the year.