The Panthers fell to 4-9 with last Sunday’s loss to the Broncos and that leaves them playing the rope in the final three weeks of head coach Matt Rhule’s first season with the team.
With no playoff hope and a long-term commitment to Rhule, the coach was asked on Monday about the possibility of watching quarterback Will Grier and other young players in the remaining games. Rhule said he doesn’t plan on straying from the way he does business year round and wants the team to learn how to end a season no matter what is going on around them.
“I’m going to try to win the last three games, so I’m going to put the guys who won the right to start or play,” Rhule said, via the team’s website Darin Gantt. “I just don’t think that’s a great message for the team to start giving it a try. The earlier question of how to keep the eyes of the guys from being silenced, if we learn one thing this year with a young team, if we learn to finish a season with 28 days of focus in December, if we have a chance to ” being 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, when practices are shorter, it is a skill.
Rhule and the Panthers will have to answer questions about the future in several places, including the quarterback, but it’s clear the coach wants the focus to be on the present until he doesn’t. more games remain on the schedule.