Matt Rhule was not particularly pleased with the Carolina Panthers effort in their dress rehearsal Friday. He particularly did not care for the performance of the starting units.
“We did not play like a team that was excited to be out there completely at the starters’ level. I think the starters would all tell you that,” Rhule said. “It was not the requisite energy level to play at a high level, and that’s something we’ll have to learn from.”
This is all pretty typical coach speak of lackadaisical practices. It happens under every regime, on every team. However, Rhule then went on to say something quite new in the halls of Bank of America Stadium.
“I was not overly pleased with the starters, which obviously always then goes back to the coaching staff and myself,” Rhule said.
Hold up. Rewind. It is the Carolina Panthers head coach and his staff’s responsibility to make sure players are competing at the highest level they can? Since when? For nearly a decade of Ron Rivera this was never the case. The coaches performed perfectly and it was always the players that let them down. There was a term for that, if I recall. Missed opportunities was the phrase that paid.
The fact that Matt Rhule has already taken ownership of his team’s performance speaks volumes for the young coach. Whether or not this will ultimately translate to winning seasons remains to be seen. But is sure as heck fire is refreshing to see some accountability being taken in the coach’s room.
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