New Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule made surprising comments on his time with the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday.
Things were very bad for Rhule in Carolina. He finished with an 11-27 record through 38 games as an NFL head coach. The Panthers never recorded more than five wins with Rhule as their coach. The Panthers started 1-4 this season, and then Rhule got canned.
Now Rhule is the head coach of the Cornhuskers. Nebraska hired Rhule, an extremely successful coach in college, earlier in the week. He has made the media rounds since then, and landed on The Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday.
Quarterback play was a major issue for the Panthers under Rhule. The players they had and still have don’t really meet the moment. The Panthers had numerous tries to get better quarterbacks, including in the draft. Particularly, in 2021., the team balked on Pro Bowlers Justin Fields and Mac Jones to draft cornerback Jaycee Horn. Horn has been a very adept cornerback but it’s hard to ignore how Fields is balling right now.
So the new Nebraska head coach joined the show with Eisen and addressed those concerns. After Rhule specifically mentioned Fields and Jones’ names, he said, “Sometimes articles come out after you get fired and say, ‘Oh hey, why didn’t you guys get Justin Herbert?’ Well, you know, because he got drafted in front of us. And um, you know, I wasn’t the GM, I didn’t make the picks.”
Former Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said looking back on if he should’ve drafted a quarterback early: “I wasn’t the GM. I didn’t make the picks.”
— Panthers On Tap (@PanthersOnTap) November 30, 2022
Rhule praised the GMs he did work with and the players they picked in the three first rounds he presided over.
Still, it’s hard to believe a coach didn’t have extensive influence. It’s true that some players were picked before the Panthers’ selections, but that wasn’t always the case.