What Matt Rhule Had to Say at the NFL Combine

Schuyler Callihan

This afternoon, Panthers head coach Matt Rhule met with the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis to discuss the team's quarterback situation, draft prospects and much more. Below are a few key takeaways from today's press conference.

Opening statement:

"Thrilled to be here. We know how important the combine is. We have seven picks in the draft, really important picks so, this is the beginning for us for a very disciplined process to make sure we get the right guys and gather the right information. We know we have a tremendous job ahead of us to put together a really good team and it all starts here."

On Cam Newton:

"From my perspective, I'm unbelievably excited to get the chance to work with Cam [Newton]. On a personal note, getting to know him, he’s a diligent guy, he’s working so hard both in Atlanta and Carolina to try and get himself healthy. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him. I’ve enjoyed getting to sit down in the cafeteria when he comes by, sit down in my office. I’m excited to get him healthy, obviously that’s the number one goal for us. He’s doing a great job of doing his part, we just have to make sure that we’re doing our part as we try to get him healthy for the 2020 season.”

"Cam is a special player. I'm excited to have him here and I want him to be here and I want to coach him, I just have to make sure that the coaching part of it is to make sure he is healthy." 

Who will start at quarterback:

"I probably won't say that anybody will be a starter, especially in my first year. I'll try to be really disciplined about not promising things to certain guys. I'll just say that I really want him [Newton] on the team and I really want him to be healthy.  I won't speculate on the future of maybe any player on our team, but I'd like to get him healthy and I'd like to get him out there."

"At the end of the day, we have three good quarterbacks under contract who have all played, who we have confidence in, so our system fits all of those guys. We're going to coach all of the quarterbacks on our roster and I think that we will see success from them."

Improving the roster:

"Philosophically for us, and this has nothing to do with Cam or anybody else, but just philosophically we will always explore every opportunity to improve our roster. But again, that has nothing to do with any one player, that's just us in general."

Potentially trading up in the draft:

"We're here at the combine to get to know the players. A lot of these players I know off of TV on Saturday's, so I don't really know the players yet enough. So I wouldn't really comment on any one player.  So when it comes to trades and things like that, I'm not going to say anything you guys understand that. But I think we'll always be aggressive in terms of looking at everything that can make our team better, but there's a lot of good players here and I want to make sure that we do a good job of getting to know the guys and see what they can do so that we make the right picks."

Running back room:

"My philosophy is you want to help your great players be elite, so the more carries you give someone, obviously they're going to play better. We feel really good about the entire running back room. We have three or four guys under contract that we feel like they can go out there and play. Christian [McCaffrey] is obviously a special player, he takes care of himself at an elite level, but we also like the rest of the backs as well."

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