Matt Rhule: Our job as coaches is to get Sam Darnold as ready as possible

NFL: DEC 26 Buccaneers at Panthers
Getty Images

The Panthers flirted with a trade for Deshaun Watson and were included in the list of potential landing spots for other veteran quarterbacks, but the offseason ended on Thursday the same way it began.

Head coach Matt Rhule said at a press conference that Sam Darnold “would be our quarterback” if the season started today. It doesn’t start today, of course, but there has been no sign of movement toward a trade for Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo or anyone else who would obviously supplant Darnold as the No. 1 quarterback in Carolina.

Rhule said that it is “night and day” how far Darnold has come since he arrived with the team in a trade with the Jets last year, but the improvement isn’t enough for Rhule to say that the team will definitely be standing pat over the next few weeks. He said “we absolutely should” make a move if it results in a “significant improvement,” but focused on what he, Darnold, and offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo have to do in the coming months.

“Sam’s job is to take the next five weeks, make sure he shows up to Wofford better than what he is right now,” Rhule said. “He said to me yesterday how good he feels footwork-wise in the offense. He’s got to get to training camp and improve and he’s got to do it with the pads on with people trying to knock you down. You look at the quarterbacking world from high school through college now, it’s so much 7-on-7. A lot of guys can throw it, it’s what you do when guys are trying to chase you down. So, those are his steps. He knows that, I know that, Ben knows that, that’s our job as coaches is, our job is not to think ‘hey we need to go get this, go get that.’  That’s [General Manager] Scott [Fitterer’s] job. Our job is to get Sam as ready as possible.”

If the Panthers go into the season with Darnold as their starter, there will be plenty of pressure on all involved to show that the team made the right choices to run it back with the same quarterback that failed to impress anyone during his first year in Carolina.

17 responses to “Matt Rhule: Our job as coaches is to get Sam Darnold as ready as possible

  1. “And, unfortunately… that’s not particularly ready, if I’m being honest.” – Matt Rhule

  2. Tepper, Rhule and Darnold: Panthers fans here in Charlotte don’t have much to look forward to. As soon as Christian McCaffrey gets injured, it’s gonna get ugly fast.

  3. thetooloftools says:
    June 16, 2022 at 4:39 pm
    He’s a cheap stop gap. Nothing more.
    Stop gap? Perhaps. Cheap? No.

  4. Darnold is just a college quarterback who made it to the NFL and turned out to be just a college quarterback.

  5. Matt Rhule missed his calling in life, he would have made a great used car salesman.

  6. Implosion is coming and all bets are off as to who will implode first???? Either Rhule or Darnold or both????

  7. To do that you actually have to be a good coach. If Andy Reid made this statement, sure. But I’ve seen enough of Rhule’s decision making to know that isn’t happening.

  8. Matt Rhule is in wayyyyy over his head. Idk who his dad knows to have landed an NFL head coaching position, but looks like he couldn’t run. JV team, let alone a professional one

  9. I always thought Jerry Richardson was an arrogant jerk, but I swear I’m beginning to miss that nasty old man because he could at least put a winning team on the field once in a while.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.