> Panthers fire Matt Rhule after 1-4 start; Steve Wilks takes over NFL

Panthers fire Matt Rhule after 1-4 start; Steve Wilks takes over

Panthers fire Matt Rhule after 1-4 start; Steve Wilks takes over

  • Panthers
Oct 11
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule on Monday. The decision came after the team’s 37-15 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, which put them to the bottom of the NFC South standings with a 1-4 early season record.

Defensive passing game coordinator and secondary coach Steve Wilks has stepped in as interim head coach.

Since his signing in 2020, Rhule has not performed so well in trying to lead the Panthers to their first Super Bowl title. In his first year in Carolina, the 47-year-old led the team to the third spot in the NFC South with a 5-11 overall season record (.313).  The following year, Rhule and his men dropped to fourth in the division at 5-12 (.294).

Panthers owner David Tepper admitted Rhule’s firing was greenlit following his failure to get the team “over the hump.” The billionaire hinted that he was frustrated with the club, whose last NFL playoff appearance was back in 2017.

“It’s winning. It’s winning,” Tepper said. “Winning more this year than you did last year. Looking like you’re going to win more than you did last year. By that definition, I don’t think we’re over the hump.”

While there were concerns over Panthers fans not attending games, Tepper explained that their attendance was not the main reason behind the firing.

“We had 63,000 butts in seats,” he said. “Unfortunately, there were too many red butts in seats this week. That was not the reason, the reason for (the firing). As I said, we just can’t get over the hump.”

Earlier this April, Tepper was quite supportive and optimistic about having Rhule for another season, saying, “I believe in Matt. He has my full support.”

However, it is clear that Tepper has had enough, and the Panthers now have a new guy in town ahead of their October 16 matchup against the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams.

"Put me anywhere on God's green earth and I'll triple my worth."

- Matt Rhule

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