It may only be two games into the 2022 NFL season, but Panthers fans are on the verge of riots. Head Coach Matt Rhule lost the fanbase with a series of lackluster losses in his second season and has done nothing to earn them back. While defending an NFL-leading nine loss streak is entertaining it is not entertaining in the way that sells seats or jerseys for the Carolina Panthers.
To be clear, Rhule is still the head coach as of this writing. His team’s 0-2 start in the “easy” stretch of the Panthers season, however, has created a mood. The majority of the first fifty comments in yesterday’s postgame recap post called for Rhule’s immediate dismissal. There were multiple calls on Twitter, a noted forum for nuanced and reasoned discussion, for excluding Rhule from the team flight home. Suffice it to say, Panthers fans are interested in what is next and so that is what we will talk about today.
What follows is a list, alphabetical and non-exhaustive, of the three top candidates on the Panthers staff for the interim head coach gig in the event that Rhule is released during the season. All three candidates have head coaching experience at some level and none of them are Phil Snow. I’m excluding Snow from this list because of his longtime loyalty to Rhule and the fact that he has yet to hold the position of head coach at any of his career stops.
I guess we’ll do the candidates without head coaching experience next week. It’ll be fun.
McAdoo took the New York Giants to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in his first year as their head coach in 2016. He was fired in 2017 after a 2-10 start and because life comes at you fast in other NFL franchises. He has since spent time rehabbing his reputation and adding to his football knowledge base working with 2020 Jacksonville Jaguars and the 2021 Dallas Cowboys.
Pasqualoni is the only candidate on this list who, like Rhule, lacks head coaching experience in the NFL. That said, he has a wealth of football experience stretching all the way back to his freshman year at Penn State in 1966. That was Joe Paterno’s third year as head coach there. He went on to be the head coach of the University of Syracuse from 1991-2004 and of the University of Connecticut from 2011-2013. He also has ten years of assistant experience at various levels and on both sides of the ball in the NFL.
A man who hard needs any introduction in the Carolinas is Wilks. He was Ron Rivera’s secondary coach from 2011-2014 and his defensive coordinator from 2015-2017. He left the Panthers to be the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals for one season in 2018.