Nebraska Football: Carolina Panthers fans still think Matt Rhule was ‘the problem’

Nebraska football fans might be all in on Matt Rhule right now, but Carolina Panthers fans are apparently still holding quite the grudge. I probably shouldn’t really talk about this. After all the grudge I have against Scott Frost is both enormous and well-documented. But in my defense. Scott Frost was an awful head coach. And not to toot my own horn, but I was far from sold on him from day one. By almost all accounts, Matt Rhule is a very good head coach who had some very serious and very real trouble getting the Carolina Panthers to have the kind of success their fans expected.

I understand why Panthers fans were relieved when Rhule was relieved of his duties early on in the 2022 regular season. Though from afar I found it rather odd as the team continued to be mostly mediocre how on-board so many fans were with the job his replacement was doing. Steve Wilks doesn’t seem like a bad coach (though Arizona Cardinals fans might argue against that notion) but it wasn’t like Carolina was suddenly a world-beater. They were playoff contenders as long as they were because their division was awful.

And that’s why I still find it rather funny that months later Carolina fans and members of the media are still trying to pretend that everything that went wrong with the Panthers was all entirely a Matt Rhule problem.

That was underlined again when Carolina recently signed former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen to a free-agent deal. Not long after the deal was announced there were more than a few people who claimed that deal showed the prior struggles were all Rhule’s fault. I guess because the Minnesota Vikings would only release Thielen and therefore allow him to become a Panther is Matt Rhule was gone?

Carolina Panthers and Nebraska football fans at odds over Matt Rhule

To be sure, Matt Rhule’s tenure in the NFL wasn’t good by any stretch. He finished dipping his toe in professional football waters with an 11-27 record. But to claim he was “the” problem for a franchise that isn’t among league royalty seems like a stretch.

Keep in mind this is a team that has had seven winning seasons over the last 30 some years. It’s also worth pointing out the team’s leading passers in the three seasons that the now Nebraska football head coach was there. Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater. Not exactly NFC MVP candidates behind center.

It really doesn’t matter that much anymore. Either Rhule will be a success at Nebraska football or he won’t. How he’s perceived in Carolina won’t affect that at all. It’s still interesting to see just how much hate the man engendered in a short period of time among a fan base that should be used to not winning.