When Matt Rhule became the head coach of the Carolina Panthers during the off-season, it was clear that this team was in “rebuilding” mode after releasing former MVP Cam Newton. The Panthers are 0-2 through 2 weeks of the 2020 season and based on their schedule it doesn’t look like the road is going to get any easier.
Teddy Bridgewater who filled in for the New Orleans Saints last season while Drew Brees nursed a ailing thumb injury, went 6-1 during that time and essentially wrote his own check to become the starter in Carolina.
Through the first two weeks, Bridgewater and the Panthers are 0-2 and although Bridgewater has thrown 636 yards and completed 72% of his passes, he has not been a difference maker for a team that will be without it’s all purpose All Pro running back Christian McCaffrey.
If you didn’t hear PJ Walker, XFL MVP frontrunner was on the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers as Bridgewater’s backup. Walker signed a 2-year contract with the Panthers shortly after the XFL canceled it’s 2020 season.
Walker who is Temple University’s passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, attempts, total yards, and total touchdowns record holder, accomplished all of this during Matt Rhule’s tenure.
It presents a plausible question.
Will PJ Walker eventually crack the starting lineup if Rhule grows tired of Bridgewater?
I believe it could happen. Remember this is not a Super Bowl or bust season for the Panthers. This season will be more about implementing a culture and system that could help Carolina get back to their winning ways eventually.
Walker who led the Houston Roughnecks to an undefeated record of 5-0, threw for 1,338 yards, 15 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and a 65% completion percentage through 5 weeks. He was easily the most exciting player in the XFL.
Rhule not only signed Walker who played for him at Temple University, but also signed Robby Anderson in free agency. During Rhule’s first year at Temple he moved Anderson to wide receiver, and that move paid off.
Anderson finished his collegiate career at Temple recording 114 receptions, 1,730 passing yards, and 16 touchdowns, and Walker contributed to much of his success. So there is a level of chemistry within the roster that can’t be denied.
And remember this is not Walker’s first rodeo in the NFL.
Walker was signed by the Inidianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2017, and received an endorsement from Andrew Luck, the son of former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck. Walker has spoken about how his time in Indianapolis influenced his time in the XFL being the starting quarterback of the Houston Roughnecks.
Walker has paid his dues in the quarterback room and on the field, and I think it will only be a matter of time before we see M-V-PJ Walker return to the gridiron as a starting quarterback.
This time I think it will be in the NFL.
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