Panthers manager Matt Rhule’s press conference was scheduled to discuss starting the team’s junior camp, but he also faced one question that had nothing to do with this year’s semester draft.
a Report for He said Thursday that the Panthers are looking to former Saints coach Sean Payton for the 2023 season if Rhule fails to improve in 10-23 early in his NFL coaching career. Rhule was asked about the report and said it was “probably not” something he’d like to hear, but it’s part of the job and something that team owner David Tepper told him he didn’t have to worry about.
“In connection with this report, I first heard about him that he called me and told me it was coming out,” Rule said. “They called him, and there was nothing in it. I know Dave Tepper well enough to think he wouldn’t talk to another coach now. He came to my house two and a half years ago and told me this was a five-year rebuilding. That’s what he told me. He convinced me. Then to be a part of it and build it with him. We’re not where we want to be. I don’t think it’s going to take five years, and I don’t want it to take five years, but those are the words he said to me.”
Plans could change in the absence of progress toward reaching goals, and that makes 2022 look like a big season for Rhule’s chances of hitting that five-year mark in Carolina.