The Carolina Panthers may have hired a new, first-year head coach this offseason, but there are not many reasons to be excited heading into 2020. Carolina orchestrated a messy breakup with longtime quarterback Cam Newton, ditched tight end Greg Olsen and then star linebacker Luke Kuechly moved from on-field talent to talent scout. The Panthers have one of the lowest win totals of any NFL team entering this season, as William Hill Sports Book currently has the over/under listed at 5.5. While it's clear Carolina is entering somewhat of a rebuild, safety Tre Boston believes that the Panthers hired the right coach to get them back on track.
Boston says that Rhule has already made an excellent impression on the players despite the unprecedented virtual offseason, and he told Ian Rapoport of the Rapsheet + Friends podcast that Rhule has what it takes to fast-track the Panthers' rebuild and get this franchise back into the win column.
"I think this guy has an edge to him. I think he has a certain 'it' that coaches have to have," Boston said, via NFL.com. "I'm excited to see him more in person with the guys, because right now, I think he started with a nice lead because he has a nice momentum going in between how he's treated us, how he's respected us, how he respects our time. That means a lot to professionals and men, adults, as well. So, I think Rhule has set himself up for success with his men. We trust him. We believe in him. And when we get together, it's all about building chemistry and knowing that we are the Carolina Panthers and we're gonna do what it takes to win ballgames around here."
Rhule impressed in his introductory press conference -- talking about how he will build a hard-working team and surround that team with a staff that loves football to encourage an atmosphere where players will want to be the best at whatever they do. He established himself as a bit of a problem-fixer in college football over the past few years. Rhule took a two-win Temple team to two-straight 10-win seasons and then took a one-win Baylor team to the Sugar Bowl in just two years time. Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is hoping Rhule can bring that reputation for orchestrating a quick turnaround to the next level.
Boston is also excited to be playing for who he considers to be a "good guy" off the field. While some of the moves this new staff pulled off early in the offseason were questionable, Rhule has been putting in work behind the scenes to create relationships with his new players.
"I think he's a good guy," Boston said. "Before you're ever a coach and Xs and Os, I want to know the type of guy you are as a human being. Type of guy you are as a man around your family. The type of husband you are. From what I've seen, he's a great guy. A loving father. A great husband. The way he speaks to his men. The way he is about his details. The way he gets the guys rallying and gets them going. And we might just be on Zoom and little stuff like that. To get guys pumped up over a video, that means a lot. That's who Rhule is."