The Carolina Panthers are sticking with Matt Rhule for 2022.
That means he will enter his third year with the team this upcoming NFL season.
He’d like to forget about his previous two seasons in Carolina, where he only won five games each season.
This now puts his job in jeopardy if he has another losing season with the team.
However, he has a slim chance of turning things around for 2022.
He can save his job by doing these three things.
3. Work On Keeping Players Healthy
Injuries played a major role in the decline of the Panthers in 2021.
Rhule’s team looked good for the first three games in 2021.
They started the season off hot with a 3-0 record.
However, in that third game against the Texans that they won, injuries would start hurting the team.
Star running back Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury in that game.
It then put pressure on Sam Darnold to carry the team on his shoulders.
Sam Darnold when Christian McCaffrey went down with an injury pic.twitter.com/laraFxe3BQ
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) October 3, 2021
That weight he was shouldering led to a fracture of his right shoulder.
He was having to do it all without his biggest helper on offense to take pressure off him.
If Rhule wants to stay in Carolina, he needs to work with players on getting them healthy and keeping them that way.
2. Work With Darnold And Draft Him Offensive Weapons
Everyone knows the Panthers were actively seeking to move on from Darnold this year.
However, their bid to land Deshaun Watson ended in failure.
But they might look to the 2022 NFL Draft for their next quarterback.
I’m saying they should wait one year for a draft class of better quarterbacks.
They should go after a wide receiver in 2022 to help Darnold.
The draft class of receivers is decent and would make an impact immediately.
However, they could draft a lineman to help protect Darnold.
With that, it could give him more time in the pocket for passes.
However, they have gotten some help for the offensive line during free agency.
The team signed guard Austin Corbett to help with the front five.
In four seasons, #Panthers new guard Austin Corbett has only allowed (5) sacks in 1,686 pass-blocking snaps. pic.twitter.com/X8N4lVE3Oe
— Michael Rimmer (@AVL_Mike) April 8, 2022
But they still need a tackle to protect Darnold’s blind side.
They could find that puzzle piece in the NFL draft.
1. Work With The Defense To Keep The Team In Games
For a team that was 5-12 last season, they had a great defense.
They were a top-five defense, despite their record on paper.
However, if they continue to keep games close, the Panthers’ chances of winning are better.
Carolina signaled they will keep and build on their defense for 2022.
They re-signed cornerback Donte Jackson, defensive end Marquis Haynes Sr., and safety Sean Chandler.
Additionally, they signed free agent safety Xavier Woods and linebacker Damien Wilson.
Wilson looks to be the person to replace Luke Kuechly, the Panthers former All-Pro linebacker who retired in 2020.
Woods looks to help reinforce the secondary of the Panthers in 2022.
He is a solid player and can bring down any player that makes it past the corners or front four of the defense.