4 Carolina Panthers that must get more playing time under Steve Wilks
By Dean Jones
Which Carolina Panthers players must get more time on the field over the remaining 11 games under interim head coach Steve Wilks in 2022?
Things didn’t exactly go according to plan for interim head coach Steve Wilks in Week 6 at the Los Angeles Rams. The Carolina Panthers were missing some key personnel against the defending Super Bowl champions, with a few others also falling foul of injuries during another morale-sapping loss for the organization.
Wilks has a huge job on his hands and not a lot of time to put the necessary changes in place. We are now almost at the midway point of the campaign believe it or not, with the Panthers looking at the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft if things continue in a similar fashion over their remaining 11 games.
One could argue this would be a good thing long-term for Carolina. Although tanking is not an option for players fighting for their futures and aiming to restore a sense of pride in the franchise, which became a laughing stock under Matt Rhule.
It’s also a good time to get more players involved in this clear predicament Carolina finds itself in. With this in mind, here are four individuals that need additional reps with Wilks at the helm.
Player No. 1
Brandon Smith – Carolina Panthers LB
The curious case of Brandon Smith continued in Week 6. Even without Frankie Luvu in the lineup, the fourth-round selection couldn’t get meaningful reps on defense and was even on the sidelines when Steve Wilks sent Aaron Mosby into the rotation instead.
This is not what many fans envisaged when they witnessed Smith flying around the field making big plays aplenty during preseason games. The Penn State product’s featured for just two snaps on defense through six games, which is unacceptable considering the athletic attributes at his disposal.
The Panthers need to know what they have in Smith at some stage. If he doesn’t show enough, then they can turn their attention elsewhere for second-level assistance in 2023.