The seat is already warm for some coaches around the NFL heading into Week 4. Carolina Panthers HC Matt Rhule is certainly one of those in jeopardy after a 1-2 start and two full seasons with a record under .500.
Though a change at the helm doesn't seem imminent, two names have been rumored as potential Rhule replacements.
Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reports Panthers ownership's patience is "growing thin" with Rhule. If a change is made, the franchise would seek out an "experienced former head coach" to replace him. Wilson's source specifically names Sean Payton and Dan Quinn as two options.
“I’m expecting, and many others around the league expect Tepper to go with a proven head coach with significant NFL experience,” a league source said. “That would mean looking at Sean Payton or a Dan Quinn. Tepper has been patient, but patience only stretches so far."- Aaron Wilson, Pro Football Network
Rhule has followed the likes of Ron Rivera and John Fox as a first-time head coaches who took over in Carolina, but the former's results have paled in comparison. The Rhule-led Panthers haven't even sniffed the playoffs after recording a measley five wins in back-to-back years, while Rivera and Fox both took their teams to the Super Bowl.
There's no telling what an established coach could do with a roster that has plenty of potential. Quinn and Payton both have NFC championship wins to their name, with the latter even taking home the Lombardi trophy in 2009. Carolina knows first-hand about the success of their former division rivals, so aiming for one of these men makes a ton of sense.
It remains to be seen how much longer Rhule sticks around as the Panthers' head coach. With a tough four-week stretch of games coming up, he may run out of room on the long leash he's been afforded so far.
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