The Panthers dropped to 4-9 with last Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, leaving them with the team for the final three weeks of head coach Matt Rhule’s first season.
With no hope of playoffs and a long-term commitment to Rhule, the coach was asked on Monday to watch quarterback Will Grier and other young players in the remaining games. Rhule said he had no intention of deviating from the way he does business all year round and wants the team to learn how to end a season no matter what goes on around them.
“I’m going to try to win the last three games, so I’m going to place the guys who have earned the right to start or play,” Rhule said via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “I just don’t think it’s a good news for the team to make it a tryout. The question asked earlier about how to keep boys’ eyes from disappearing, whether we learn one thing this year with a young team, whether we learn how to end a season with 28 days of focus in December, whether we take the chance have to have a playoff team next year, our ability to focus around Christmas, to focus on Thanksgiving, to win games at the end of the year when you’re beaten up, when practices are shorter, that is a skill. “
There will be questions for Rhule and the Panthers about the future in several places, including quarterback, but it is clear that the coach wants the focus to be on the present until there are no more games scheduled.