Nebraska Football: Matt Rhule calls time in the NFL a ‘purifying fire’

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule during the first half (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule during the first half (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports) /

Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule feels he learned a lot from his stint with the Panthers including that his stay was a kind of “purifying fire”

Matt Rhule would likely be the first to admit that his time with the Carolina Panthers did not go as anyone hoped. After 2.5 seasons in the NFL he was fired. That’s why he was available to be hired by the Nebraska football program last winter.

Looking back on that period of life and what he believes working and living in Lincoln will hold, Rhule absolutely believes that everything worked out the way it was supposed to. He just ran a bit of a gamut in order to get where he’s supposed to be.

Speaking to ESPN he talked about his feelings about what’s happened in his career.

"“Going through the fire in Carolina was a purifying fire that melts away all the impurities, all the hubris, all the worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter. I learned very much to worry about what matters. I have a focus and a desire in me. I watched what my kids had to go through in Carolina, and we’re not going to let them go through that here.”"

Nebraska football is a refreshing splash of cold water

Because of the things he and his family went through with the Panthers, he needed to get his wife and kids’ sign off to take the job with Nebraska football. They did indeed give that signoff.

"“My wife Julie saw (Nebraska AD) Trev Alberts and (school president Ted Carter). And then, when we came here, she felt like this was where we wanted to live. The Midwestern values, people and ethos of this place. She knew from day one. I had to call her two weeks in and be like, ‘Hey, you were dead right. This is the right place.’ I wanted to make the right decision because I’m tired of moving my family around. We think we did.”"

It’s not hard to see what Rhule means when he talks about the purifying fire. About “what he went through.”

He’s still vilified by a Carolina Panthers fanbase that seems to see him as someone who struggled on purpose. There are those that think he’s incompetent. That he didn’t really care about success.

All evidence to the contrary of course. He had quite a bit of success in the college ranks before going to Carolina. And Nebraska football fans are certainly hoping that the purifying fire of the NFL has made him a stronger man and a better coach. We’ll see in the not-too-distant future.