When the Carolina Panthers announced that Matt Rhule will replace Ron Rivera as the team’s new head coach, there was some strong criticism. After all, Rhule coached the Baylor Bears for the past three seasons and was the New York Giants’ assistant offensive line coach in 2012. Despite just one season in the NFL, ESPN Analyst Marcus Spears voiced his praise for the hire.
New QB or Newton?
Spears explained that Rhule and Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton could be a perfect match.
Newton sat out all but the first two games of Carolina’s 2019 season after injuring his foot. After four straight wins led by backup quarterback Kyle Allen, the speculation over Cam Newton’s end in Carolina ramped up. Meanwhile, the Panthers finished with a disappointing 5-11 record, including an eight-game losing streak to cap off the season. The dismal end to the year has convinced some analysts that Newton will actually stay with the team next season.
Spears is among those who thinks that Newton will return in a Panthers’ uniform, and he believes that Rhule’s new offense will only aid Newton’s return to action.
Spears added that Rhule’s hire was not only to help Newton succeed, but it was a move that was pushed for by owner David Tepper. Tepper purchased the franchise in May 2018, and since then he has been the main reason behind a slew of moves within the organization. The most notable change was the firing of longtime coach Ron Rivera, who led the Panthers to a Super Bowl in 2016.
According to Spears, Rhule’s hire was a clear example of Tepper continuing to redesign the franchise in his image..
Rhule was officially introduced as the Panthers’ head coach on Wednesday.
Rhule posing with his family. pic.twitter.com/Qar9BR8vlf
— Chris Lea – WXII (@ChrisLeaTV) January 8, 2020
Spears is an analyst for ESPN who specializes in college football and the NFL. He makes normal appearances on The Paul Finebaum Show and Get Up!