Panthers HC Matt Rhule responds to ESPN analyst’s 'coaching malpractice' claim
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are off to an 0-2 start to the season, and ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky believes that he termed “coaching malpractice” as a big reason for that. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule does not see it that way.

During Thursday’s edition of “NFL Live,” Orlovsky shared what he strongly believes is evidence that the Panthers were tipping their plays in their 19-16 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. The former NFL quarterback said he went through the game film and noticed that the Panthers almost always ran a run play or a run-pass option when Christian McCaffrey was lined up a yard deeper in the backfield than Baker Mayfield. When McCaffrey was lined up at the same depth as Mayfield, Orlovsky says that meant Carolina had called a pass play.

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Orlovsky sounded quite sure of himself, but Rhule says the analyst is wrong. Rhule responded to Orlovsky in detail on Friday and talked about all the different types of plays the Panthers run from the formations Orlovsly highlighted. The coach made a good point, which is that the Panthers ran for 146 yards and averaged more than 6.0 yards per carry.

If the Panthers were tipping plays, they certainly will not be in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Rhule is in his third year as the head coach of the Panthers. The team won just five games in each of his first two seasons. Whether Carolina is or is not tipping plays won’t matter for his future with the Panthers if the results do not improve quickly.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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