The Carolina Panthers named Matt Rhule as their next head coach and everyone is curious about what the offense will look like in 2020. Someone who should be ecstatic with the hire is Christian McCaffrey.
Prior to making the jump to the NFL, Rhule was the head coach at both Temple and Baylor at the collegiate level. During his time at Temple, Rhule turned the program around in his four years there. Despite sanctions being placed on Baylor, Rhule was able to nearly convert Baylor into a playoff team in 2019.
When speaking about Rhule, everyone believes he’s just a coach that is great at rallying his players his team in the locker room. But most people don’t know that Rhule is an offensive-minded coach at heart.
At both of his stops in college, Rhule didn’t call the plays from the sideline. However, he was involved in the game-planning and scheming for the offenses that he was a part of.
Amid his time at Temple and Baylor, Rhule appeared to be a coach that favored utilizing his running backs. Throughout the 2019 season, Baylor typically ran their offense in 10 personnel or 11 personnel.
To those that don’t know, 10 personnel is when there is one running back, no tight ends, and four wide receivers. Additionally, 11 personnel is when there is one running back, one tight end, and three wide receivers. In those formations, Rhule likened to using a zone-running scheme.
How Rhule’s offense benefits McCaffrey
Since coming into the NFL in 2017, McCaffrey has been one of the best dual-threat running backs in the NFL. This season alone, McCaffrey rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
To go along with his rushing numbers, the third-year running back also caught 116 passes for 1,005 yards and another four touchdowns. If it weren’t for Lamar Jackson, McCaffrey could have been considered as a front-runner for the NFL’s MVP Award.
No matter what offense McCaffrey is inserted into, he’s versatile enough to produce notable numbers. But in Rhule’s offense, we could see McCaffrey take his game to an entirely different level.
Along with Rhule, the Panthers also added Joe Brady as their offensive coordinator. Of course, Brady helped manufacture LSU’s historic offense in 2019.
The duo of Rhule and Brady are undoubtedly going to scheme unique ways for McCaffrey to get the ball into his hands. Having a more modern offense in Carolina is going to pay dividends for the dynamic running back. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if McCaffrey is hoisting the MVP trophy in 2020.