1. Why Carolina parted ways
To begin answering this question, you have to look all the way back to the decision of firing former head coach Ron Rivera. The Panthers only enjoyed three winning seasons under Rivera, believe it or not. While I like RIvera, and understand that he’s a highly-respected coach around the league, I also understand Carolina wanting to begin anew.
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Bringing in a head coach from the college ranks, Carolina turned the page to a new chapter. Former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule comes in to bring a fresh, new approach to the Panthers. It’s been obvious, after seeing a few of his hires also coming from the collegiate level, that Rhule is all-in on a retool in Carolina.
The reason I’m calling this a retool is because he brought in Bridgewater, who has had experience starting in the past. He is still young enough to build a future around, as well.
The Panthers have also made several moves in free agency and via trades. One particular signing shows they’re not quite giving up, or “rebuilding,” and that is wideout Robby Anderson. Giving Bridgewater an offensive arsenal featuring Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Anderson is proof they believe in Bridgewater’s immediate success.
This was a full-on renovation project in Carolina, and there’s no way they were going to bank on Newton moving forward.