The Carolina Panthers lost their fifth consecutive game on Sunday in a 32-6 loss to the Bucs that featured yet another lackluster offensive performance and, just generally, little resistance to what Tampa Bay was trying to do.
There are certainly injuries that have played a role, most notably to star running back Christian McCaffrey, but the lack of improvement as a team in Year 2 under Matt Rhule has led to plenty of chatter in Charlotte that the former Baylor coach should be on the hot seat. The Panthers don’t seem like a team ready to make another coaching change immediately, but every loss to close out this season will only increase the possible warmth he’s feeling under him.
After the loss on Sunday, Rhule tried to address those frustrations by insisting things are getting better, you just can’t see those changes tangibly in the on-field product — which, of course, is the only part that matters. Rhule did this by making a strange comparison to Jay-Z having to start his own agency (we think he means record label) to become an “overnight success” after seven years.
While I understand the general premise of trying to say that every “overnight success” is actually years of work behind the scenes that no one sees to become one of the best, this seems like a really weird analogy. The issue for Jay-Z in this story is that he was trying to get noticed and had to launch his own record label in order to get his music out, while the Panthers issue appears to be that they are simply bad at football, not that they’re actually good but no one can see them.
Unless they’re going to star their own football league in order to breakout on their own, I’m not sure Rhule has much going for him here, but it’s at least a creative effort at insisting he should be given a long leash because success is just around the corner.