Panthers HC Matt Rhule remains unsure of Brady Christensen’s future

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  • Carolina Panthers
    Carolina Panthers
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Matt Rhule
    American football coach
  • Brady Christensen
    Brady Christensen
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

For better or for worse (but seemingly more often for the latter), Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has remained firm on his beliefs. And one of those beliefs is that Brady Christensen is not yet the definitive answer at left tackle.

On Sunday, the 2021 third-round pick filled in on the blindside for his second consecutive game. Christensen held up rather well too, as Pro Football Focus graded the rookie out with a solid 77.3 pass-blocking grade in the 18-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Even Rhule noticed.

“I thought, this game, he took a big step from the previous game. I thought the previous game he played well and had about five snaps that weren’t great,” he said to reporters on Monday. “I thought he performed well. He still has to work on some of his anchor, in terms of when guys go to power rush. [Marcus] Davenport and those guys are really good. But I thought he was good in the run game, solid in the protection game, a good step.”

But Rhule, who has repeatedly referred to Christensen as more of a natural guard, isn’t quite ready to commit to making the 25-year-old his offense’s left tackle.

“I’m not gonna do too much looking ahead,” Rhule added when asked if that’ll be the spot for Christensen. “I think, for me, these snaps are really good just to see what position he is. We think he’s a starter. He’s had that rookie year where you’re figuring out where to fit, how to play in the NFL. But his skill set, his explosiveness, his power—I think all those tell us that he’s a guy that’s a starter. It’s just a matter of putting that puzzle together.”

Well, Rhule and the Panthers are quite adept to those puzzles—as they’ve had to rearrange their starting offensive line 11 different times over their 16 games in 2021. Will that puzzle, though, ultimately end up with Christensen on its left?

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