This may not have been exactly what Matt Rhule pictured when he envisioned possibilities of being a head coach in the NFL.
No preseason, reduced training camp practices and dozens of meetings via video conferences only aren’t the norm for the NFL this time of year. But it’s the reality that Rhule and the rest of the league are working under as training camps get underway.
Despite the curveballs thrown to the new Panthers head coach and his coaching staff this offseason, Rhule said he’s not about to complain about the hand they’ve been dealt.
“Yeah, it’s less than ideal,” Rhule said, via Myles Simmons of the team’s website.. “I mean, even as we’re making decisions right now, we’re making decisions based off of meeting rooms and things like that. But it just is what it is.
“There’s nothing worse than a football coach who complains.”
Rhule might be at a marginal advantage when it comes to beginning a season without any preseason games. You don’t get dress rehearsal contests in college football and every game you play counts in the standings. There’s no chance to evaluate your players against other competition before your season begins. In that regard, this is a setup that Rhule has already been accustomed to. The practice they will have are going to be that much more important.
“I’ve had to utilize practices and scrimmages to make evaluations. So I’m going to rely on our coaching staff, rely on our personnel staff, on (GM) Marty (Hurney), his people,” Rhule said. “This is really a time for our players — young players, old players — if they have a meeting, whether it’s virtual or in person, they’ve got to be great at it. If they go out to the practice field and get a couple reps, they’ve got to be great at them. They’ve got to really show what they can do in a controlled environment.”