Matt Rhule did not come to Mobile to vacation.
Rhule and his Carolina Panthers staff are one of two staffs manning the Senior Bowl (the Dolphins are the other) and earlier today ESPN cameras caught the Panthers head coach coaching dudes up.
Or, more accurately, admonishing dudes for not letting he and his staff coach them up.
"Saying 'Yes sir' does not mean you're coachable. Some guys, you say something to them, they want to argue, they say 'Yes sir.' That's not coachable; I do not want to coach that guy... Looking someone in the eye, having a football conversation means you're coachable.
If every play you're perfect then (the coaches) don't need to be at this game. You should be coached on every play. I hope you will respect the fact that the coaching staff is trying to coach you on every play. A lot of coaching staffs come out here and (say), 'Man, let's just evaluate these players.' We're trying to coach you."
Here, we get a 69-second window into Rhule's entire philosophy in coaching.
The pragmatic thing would be to tread water on the coaching aspect of Senior Bowl week while you're really taking notes on which players fit or don't fit for your own team. By coaching his entire roster like it's a real game, Rhule is inadvertently helping his opponents. Some of these players are bound to wind up in the NFC South, thereby making his own job harder.
But Rhule doesn't view coaching through that lens. It's the Matt Rhule who idolized his father, Dennis, who used coaching as his ministry.
"By day, my dad would work with kids at this elite private school, and at night and on weekends he would go run the youth center and run midnight basketball until 2 in the morning in rough neighborhoods," he said in 2016. "My dad was never the head pastor of a church. That was never really his calling. That was my dad's ministry, being a coach."
It's the Rhule who would tweet his congratulations when Baylor recruits committed to other schools.
The football competitor in Rhule hurt, sure. But the football evangelist in Rhule was excited to see a young player live his dreams, even if those dreams took him out of Waco.
In Rhule's eyes, winning games isn't the point of coaching, it's coaxing the absolute most out of players. And, irony of ironies, we saw that borne out at a game where no one cares if they win.