Panthers fire Matt Rhule, name Steve Wilks interim head coach

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers
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The Matt Rhule era in Carolina is over.

The Panthers parted ways with Rhule this morning, after an ugly loss to the 49ers dropped them to 1-4 this season and 11-27 in Rhule’s two and a half years as the Panthers’ head coach.

Rhule arrived in Carolina with a good reputation as a college head coach from his stints at Temple and Baylor, but he never managed to turn the Panthers around. If anything, they may be a worse team now than they were when he arrived.

The Panthers also announced that Steve Wilks, whose current title is defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach, will take over as interim head coach. This will be Wilks’ second opportunity to be a head coach, having previously coached the Cardinals for one season.

Rhule’s name will immediately surface as a candidate for several college jobs, but his days as an NFL head coach are done.

73 responses to “Panthers fire Matt Rhule, name Steve Wilks interim head coach

  1. No QB, McCaffrey constantly injured, terrible OL, substandard roster overall. Exactly how was Rhule supposed to be successful?

  2. Baker Mayfield strikes again. Not that Matt Rhule had a clue but Baker would get Vince Lombardi fired.

  3. Well… can’t say the Panthers Organization gave Rhule a short leash – he had 2-1/2 years to figure it out!

  4. Well, there are a few good college openings. That’s what he’s more suited for. After yesterday’s disaster, you just knew it was coming.

  5. Yeah, cause the only thing wrong with that team is the head coach… surely everything will be great now.

  6. Drafting Justin Fields or Mac Jones would have at least saved his job through this year. Baffling decision to trade for Darnold then Baker.

  7. It always surprises me, lie couldn’t you figure this out before the season started? Did you really think you would turn it around with what you have?

  8. Granted SF is a well built team but Panthers gave up yesterday, early. Rhule was given every chance to at least compete. No QB is a tough draw but he had to have had input to get Darnold and Baker. Swing and 2 misses.
    Trade CMC to New Orleans for Payton. Though Payton seems to have his eyes on the Broncos job.

  9. I really thought they would wait until the bye week setting them up to be in better position to get a top 5 pick next year.

  10. mikecrabtreeschain says:
    October 10, 2022 at 11:18 am
    Baker Mayfield strikes again. Not that Matt Rhule had a clue but Baker would get Vince Lombardi fired.
    Exaggerate much?

  11. Yes, the NFL is WWE says:
    October 10, 2022 at 11:20 am
    Yeah, cause the only thing wrong with that team is the head coach… surely everything will be great now.
    There is lots wrong with the Panthers, but it starts with head coach and GM. They are who kept trading draft picks away to try to fix certain positions CB & QB) and led them down this road. It’s also telling that the Panthers have had leads in most of these games they lost the last 2 years and never make the adjustments needed to win the games. It’s frustrating as a fan to watch other teams make the adjustments and win. In case you are wondering… Cleveland, NY Giants, & Arizona were all win-able games with a good coach. At this point, the Panthers should hold a fire sale to load up on picks for the next 2 drafts and just embrace the rebuild.

  12. Good for you, Matt. Don’t we all wish we had a job that rewarded us with 40 million extra bucks to -not- work for being a total failure? Living the dream.

  13. Good move. Get rid of him now. Start your search early. Start fresh. New beginnings for the Panthers.

  14. Steve Wilks was absolutely awful with the Cardinals and awful as the D coordinator at Mizzou. Good luck with that.

  15. I had a feeling that today would be the day.
    Rhule was awful.
    Must be nice to make that much money for doing nothing.

  16. This really wont change a thing, Baker stinks and their really one good player is always hurt. Steve Wilkes is a horrible coach even for a DC or OC NOT a leader of men. Good Luck in the future coach.

  17. This guy Tepper had to come in and beat his chest and tell the NFL he knew how to be an owner better than them. Wrong. Ruhle is a college coach. And that 7 year deal was the dumbest thing done by any owner. This guy ripped off the town building the practice facility. Panthers have a dim future.

  18. Get the guy a QB if you want a coach to succeed. Newton, Darnold and Mayfield just won’t cut it.

  19. It was obvious this needed to be done in the offseason, but ownership had too much ego to admit they made a very bad mistake with Rhule. Now it’s yet another lost season.

  20. Panthers did Rhule a favor. Look at ALL of the college HC positions that are open. Rhule gets a jump on interviewing for them.

  21. He should have taken the Oklahoma job as rumored after Riley left for USC. He was delusional enough to think he could make this work though.

  22. gibson45 says:
    October 10, 2022 at 11:16 am
    No QB, McCaffrey constantly injured, terrible OL, substandard roster overall. Exactly how was Rhule supposed to be successful?
    Three drafts and three free agency periods and the talentless roster is not the HC’s fault? No QB? Who brought in Bridgewater, Newton, Darnold and Mayfield? I suppose Rhule had no input on these additions? They traded for Darnold. You didn’t need to wait to know that choice was going to end badly. Maybe adding some talent and depth would’ve helped save his job.

  23. Ruhle was out of his depth and more than a little whiney on the sidelines yesterday, but Scott Fitterer is responsible for the Arena-football level personnel on the field, right? And the owner’s fingerprints are all over both those hires.

  24. chillyball says:
    October 10, 2022 at 11:38 am
    In my Tony Montana voice:

    “I never like that guy, you know.”
    That is awesome!

  25. Rhule is the second-best NFL coach to have previously coached at Temple. An extremely distant second behind Arians.

  26. cakesw says:
    October 10, 2022 at 11:17 am
    When Steve Wilkes is your interim HC…

    You are in a REALLY bad place.

    Panthers should have inquired if Dave Clawson from Wake or Dave Doeren of NC State could have taken over right now. Wilks has to be one of the ten worst HCs in NFL history.

  27. In hindsight, maybe the Jets were right to question his choice of coordinators when they interviewed him.

    Seems like a good coach that will learn from the experience and rebound.

  28. Went to the game yesterday. Definitely a Niner crowd, the Faithful travel well. There was a Hype master yelling through the PA with very distracting graphics on 49ers second AND third downs. Carolina needs to put the show on the field not through the loud graphics. My son called Rhule’s firing when the Panthers kicked a field goal down 30-12 with about six minutes left in the game…”we surrender”. Everyone involved in hiring Ben McAdoo as OC needs to be fired, too.

  29. We’ll find out real quick if it was Macaboob or Rhule making all those dumbass decisions. Still doesn’t change the fact that Baker is toast.

  30. Inevitable. Rhule isn’t an NFL coach. Firing him now gives him a shot at getting a college job. McAdoo should be fired too, BTW.

  31. Imagine being a fan of a team already looking forward to April when it’s week 5. At least they should be in contention for Young or Williams at QB

  32. Hi Matt,… this is Trev Alberts, Athl Dir from the Univ of Nebraska. Would you be interested in a meeting ??

  33. What a bittersweet opportunity for Steve Wilks. Another chance to be a head coach, but very much the same scenario he walked into with the Arizona Cardinals. No QB (Josh Rosen), a broken running back (David Johnson), decent to solid WR corps, and a middle of the pack defense.

    He’ll surely have a greater perspective of the job ahead of him based upon the Arizona experience. Players tend to rally around a head coaching change like this, but will merely playing harder be enough?

  34. buckdaddy24 says:
    October 10, 2022 at 11:37 am
    Without a franchise QB another HC bites the dust.

    The Rams just one a superbowl without a franchise QB. Stafford has been middle of the pack his entire career (which makes him Peyton Manning compared to Darnold/Mayfield/Bridgewater) hence he is one of the few guys who can’t even regularly making the pro bowl. That is no excuse.

  35. Baker Mayfield will likely get one more chance, either with the Panthers, or if he’s benched the rest of the season, with another team, to prove he has what it takes. For the moment, he can pin the blame on Matt Rhule’s coaching. But if he doesn’t turn things around, he’s done in the NFL.

  36. Beyond time. He shouldn’t have been brought back this season after finishing with 7 straight losses. Maybe he is a good college coach. Doesn’t really matter since he’s not a competent NFL coach for certain.

  37. If carolina fired their coach today, why do we still have ours??

    Signed a concerned Washington fan.

  38. Very few coaches have the drive once they have that kind of money in the bank. Yes, ASU would be a fit but does he want to spend this winter chasing after high school talent when he could be in the islands with a drink in his hand and not having a care in the world? I’m not convinced Sean Payton is ever coming back either based on the same reasoning.

  39. And this is why you don’t sign unproven college coaches to 7 year $62 million dollar contracts.

  40. The problem is the GM- their squad is woeful… and picking up Baker Terrible Cake Mayfield!

  41. It could be worse, you could be Auburn’s coach who everyone knows it’s a matter of when not if.

  42. Remember when the coach and GM laughed at the prospect of trading for Kirk Cousins during the off season? They probably wish they had him under center now. The coach would probably still be employed, and the GM would avoid the firing coming at the end of the season.

  43. Well, they did help confirm that Jameis isn’t a starting QB, so there’s that…

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