Matt Rhule: David Tepper told me there’s nothing to Sean Payton report

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers
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Panthers head coach Matt Rhule’s Friday press conference was scheduled to discuss the start of the team’s rookie minicamp, but he also faced one question that had nothing to do with this year’s draft class.

A report on Thursday said that the Panthers are eyeing former Saints head coach Sean Payton for the 2023 season should Rhule fail to improve on the 10-23 start to his NFL head coaching career. Rhule was asked about that report and said it was “probably not” something he’d like to hear, but that it is part of the job and something team owner David Tepper told him not to worry about.

“With regards to that report, first I heard of it was Dave called me and told me that it was going to come out,” Rhule said. “They had called him, that there was nothing to it. I know Dave Tepper well enough to believe he wouldn’t be talking to another coach right now. He came to my house two-and-a-half years ago and told me this is a five-year rebuild. That’s what he said to me. He convinced me then to come be a part of it and build it with him. We’re not where we want to be. I don’t think it’s gonna take five years, I don’t want it to take five years, but those are the words he said to me.”

Plans can change in the absence of progress toward reaching goals and that makes the 2022 season look like a big one for Rhule’s chances of making it to that five-year mark in Carolina.

25 responses to “Matt Rhule: David Tepper told me there’s nothing to Sean Payton report

  1. Tepper might have told him it’s a 5 year rebuild. but he might have omitted the part about a different coach for years 4 & 5 in the event that you suck at coaching in NFL.

  2. Tepper’s not giving you five years to turn this around, Matt. I’d recommend showing some real progress very soon. Or not. I’m pretty he gets paid whether he’s fired or not, right?

  3. A company owner who keeps an actual pair of brass “balls” on display in his office doesn’t sound like the kind of business person who makes 5-year plans and sticks to them no matter what.

  4. The Panthers are one of the most boring pro teams in sports. I don’t know what it is. Them and the Vikings. Just boring.

  5. Matt Rhule is the east coast Kliff Kingsberry. In way over his head and got his job because his dad put a good word in to the interviewer

  6. Show me an owner who sticks to a failing five year plan & I’ll show you an owner that is failing in his/her businesses.

    There is absolutely no freaking way Tepper is going to accept another year of mediocre results.

  7. I believe Matt Rhule will get fired no matter what kind of season he’s had… owner David Tepper is already making choices and decisions about life after Matt Rhule for the Carolina Panthers.

  8. If Matt Rhule implodes at the gate in 2022, he will be gone and more than likely will be the first coach fired as he is a little uneasy about his job security.

  9. Surprised Tepper hasn’t gone to the taxpayers and asked for the contract payout if he fires him this season.

  10. I Like Turtles says:
    May 13, 2022 at 3:45 pm

    Surprised Tepper hasn’t gone to the taxpayers and asked for the contract payout if he fires him this season.


    He’s so bad, taxpayers might be willing to foot the bill!

  11. Whooa, there, Matt. A 5 year rebuild doesn’t mean it has to be with you. David is a businessman and a realist. He knows it takes time. What he’s not willing to do is carry dead weight, so most of these comments here are correct – start showing some results. This isn’t a wait 5 years and let’s see how it shakes out kind of a business.

  12. Let’s start the bet: first coach to get canned before the end of the season. My vote: Matt Rhule

  13. The government tells me to trust it too. Wake up Rhule, you’ve got one foot out the door.

  14. Yep, and I told my wife there’s nothing to this 20-something I’ve been texting.

  15. The Saints and Payton will want the Watson package. Three first round picks and 230 million for a franchise coach.

  16. I think Payton and Rhule are both excellent coaches. Rhule has won just as many super bowls without a first ballot HOF QB as Payton has. I can’t think of too many NFL coaches throughout history that wouldn’t have won at least one super bowl if they had Drew Brees for 15 years. Nothing against Payton, but facts are facts. Payton certainly has nothing to apologize for. Many of the greatest coaches in history achieved their greatness with first ballot HOF QB’s. They were still excellent coaches, however they never won anything without that elite QB. Only Joe Gibbs. He won 3 super bowls with three different QB’s and none were HOFers. Why Gibbs isn’t considered the greatest coach of all time is beyond me. He’s in a class all by himself, and there’s a huge gap between he and the rest of the pack.

  17. Payton has his pick of jobs in the upcoming season, press will run stories like this for every hot seat coach. Methinks Sean does not have the patience for a rebuild, he goes to a franchise that needs a final push to the top.

  18. The Panthers blew it by not grabbing Baker when they had the chance. There is little chance the Browns send him to Carolina when they face them in Week 1.

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