Matt Rhule and the Panthers offense went viral this week for essentially tipping their plays and allowing the Giants’ defense to hold them to 16 points in Sunday’s 19-16 win for Brian Daboll’s crew.
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky called out Panthers head coach Matt Rhule for “coaching malpractice.”
Breaking down film on ESPN’s “NFL Live” on Thursday, the former quarterback-turned-commentator accused Matt Rhule and his Panthers staff of “coaching malpractice” after he quickly identified a tell in the Carolina offense.
“This is my favorite tape of the year so far,” Orlovsky said. “Straight up, this is unacceptable. Candidly, it’s coaching malpractice. And any Panthers fan from home, you literally need to go send this to the Panthers organization.”
Orlovsky showed that the Panthers were telling the defense what play was coming based on where running back Christian McCaffrey was positioned in the backfield on shotgun snaps. If McCaffrey was lined up behind quarterback Baker Mayfield, the play was either a clear run, or an RPO.
On plays where McCaffrey was lined up next to Mayfield, it was a passing play.
“Right now, the Carolina Panthers are giving away the play — run or pass — to defenses,” Orlovsky said.
The clip caught the attention of the Panthers coaching staff, and Rhule disagreed with him.
“Yeah, I saw Dan’s thing,” he said. “I’ve been around long enough, I’ve seen enough coaches get on there and say ‘hey, every time they do this it’s gonna be this and then it’s wrong. I disagree with it.
“For us, when we put Christian at depth we are kind of getting into a run set, and from that we either run it, we zone read it, we RPO it, we run it to the left, we run it to the same side run. Our biggest pass play was from that backfield set that then we play action off of it. So if you tell me that we line up in a formation and we run it, we throw it, we play action from there, that’s pretty balanced.”
“If you’re saying that they knew whether we were running or passing, I would say, well, how come we ran for 146 yards and 6.3 yards per carry?” Rhule told reporters Friday.