CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Certainly not the way Matt Rhule thought his NFL head coaching career would begin. No offseason workouts with players due to COVID-19 and he had to release a former NFL MVP in Cam Newton. But it is time to move on.
“I just think that we felt in the end it was the best thing for our team to move forward,” said coach Rhule. “I have no doubt that he (Cam Newton) will play well. He’s a great quarterback. We’ve all seen the things that he has done. This was just the right time for us. We saw the opportunity to get Teddy (Bridgewater) and really felt like he was the right fit for us. Not an easy call but one we thought was the best thing for us moving forward.”
Every team in the NFL with a new head coach gets a week head start in the offseason program but with no workouts, that puts a strain on the Panthers preparation for the NFL Draft.
“I was really looking forward to the voluntary mini camp right before the draft," said coach. "There are a lot of positions where we wanted to look at guys to see where they are at right before we went into the draft and we’ve lost that. That’s why they give that to a new head coach. It’s kind of hard to go ask a head coach to go draft but not know what the guys look like and how they fit into their system. But that’s where we are and that’s what it is.”
Ultimately, fans want to know how good this team will be next season.
“We want to be a team that is in the hunt down the stretch to go to the playoffs and make a deep run and try to win a Super Bowl,” said coach. “Are we there yet, I can’t answer that. I think I need to get around the guys, but that’s what we want to build towards.”