Saints coach Sean Payton reacts to Panthers hiring Matt Rhule
The Carolina Panthers found their man in former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule to take over as their new head coach. It sees the ring has not gone unnoticed by New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.
The two got well-acquainted when Rhule’s Bears arrived to practice in the Saints facility to prepare for the Sugar Bowl. Sean Payton was admittedly impressed with the job he had done at Baylor, via Amie Just of The Times-Picayune:
“He was really impressive. Jeff Ireland went to Baylor and Jeff knew Matt and Jeff had just came to me and said, ‘Hey, they’re going to be practicing here. Do you want to maybe visit with him and the team?’ It was during their week of preparations. the first time I met him and then today I heard just like you did that Carolina hired him and look, that’s a great job for him and he seemed, I was real impressed with their three years. Kevin (Petry) kind of pulled up some numbers for me and their turnaround in three years relative to what they went through and in his first year, the second year it was real impressive. They won a lot of games and I was impressed when I met him.”
Payton’s praise is certainly understandable. After all, Matt Rhule had led quite the turnaround at Baylor after going from 1-11 in his first year as the head coach in 2017 to an 11-1 record in the 2019 regular season. Despite losing both the Big 12 Championship and the Sugar Bowl, his stint in Central Texas was still impressive, nonetheless.
The Panthers are now hoping he can do the same thing in Carolina by sparking a potential resurgence in the near future. Of course, Sean Payton will be doing what he can to ensure that it does not happen during their two meeting as NFC South rivals every year. His comments indicate that he will not be taking Rhule’s arrival in the division lightly considering his recent body of work.