Matt Rhule: We haven’t been committed enough to running the ball

Minnesota Vikings v Carolina Panthers
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After Sunday’s overtime loss to the Vikings, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said the team has to figure out its offensive identity with running back Christian McCaffrey on injured reserve.

Rhule shared some of what he’d like that identity to be on Monday. Rhule said that quarterback Sam Darnold is “not playing well enough” and said blame for that goes beyond Darnold. He cited the need for coaches to do better and said the job for everyone on the offense is “to help our quarterback play well.”

One way to do that is to put more focus on the run game. Chuba Hubbard had 16 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Minnesota and Rhule said that the team is going to be more committed to that aspect of the offense than they’ve been in the last few weeks.

“The shame of the game yesterday when you really go back and watch the game, we ran the ball well, we just have not been committed enough to running it,” Rhule said, via the team’s website. “And that’s going to change, I can tell you right now. You’ll see a vastly different look from us moving forward. We’re not going to line up and drop back and throw it 40 times a game and think that’s going to win the game for us. It hasn’t. So there’s no McCaffrey, Chuba’s showing us he can run the ball at a high level when given enough opportunities. So we’re going to redefine who we are. We’re going to run the football, and we’re going to protect our quarterback, and we’re not going to turn the ball over anymore. And that’s the only way that we’re going to win.”

It will be at least two more games before McCaffrey returns to the lineup and the Panthers’ redefined offense will have to click in those contests if they want to welcome him back to a team that isn’t riding a lengthy losing streak.

6 responses to “Matt Rhule: We haven’t been committed enough to running the ball

  1. I feel like the Panthers should sign someone like Todd Gurley, he’s not an every down back any more. With Hubbard working as the primary runner Gurley could be a 3rd down back. Then when(if) McCaffrey comes back COMMIT to playing him 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarters but let the Hubbard/Gurley tandem play the 3rd. This team has been a disaster after the break in every game they have played. Putting in the change of pace backs would help keep the other team off balance.

  2. Yep but the oc doesn’t look like the boy genius if he hands the rock off 30 times. The real problem is he made his name on the coat tales of a great QB at LSU. What happened after great QB went first overall? Everyone is unemployed in like two years.

  3. Said 3 weeks ago this team hadn’t played anyone but the media had anointed them contenders already. Sam Darnold didn’t become someone different and that defense still has a ways to go. NFC is top heavy.

  4. Not committed to running the ball? That’s all your qb seems to do. He sure as heck not getting it to the teams best playmaker (Moore).

  5. My Panthers are in trouble from top to bottom. Tapper is spending like a drunken sailor, but is not getting a good ROI.

    Coaching & player personnel are seriously lacking.

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