4 reasons Steve Wilks should become Panthers permanent head coach

(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
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Steve Wilks has made an impressive start to life as interim head coach, which means the Carolina Panthers could give him the job long-term in 2023.

Matt Rhule’s stint with the Carolina Panthers was a massive failure. Team owner David Tepper bet big that the college program builder could do the same in a professional environment, but his methods didn’t translate and he was finally removed from his duties following another dismal loss in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Panthers turned to Steve Wilks as their interim in 2022, giving the respected figure an opportunity to win the job long-term after he was harshly treated by the Arizona Cardinals. It was a poisoned chalice of sorts given the mess Rhule left behind, which was made even more difficult by Carolina’s decision to trade Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey for substantial draft capital.

Considering the circumstances, Wilks has done a fine job so far. Had the Panthers not endured some rough luck late against the Atlanta Falcons, they’d be sitting atop the NFC South rather than occupying the division’s bottom spot with a 2-6 record.

Fine margins are the name of the game. Despite this, here are four reasons why Wilks should be strongly considered for the Panthers’ head coaching job beyond 2022.

Reason No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /

Carolina Panthers have their pride back

Cheering on the NFL’s laughing stock under Matt Rhule was difficult for fans. So the primary opening objective for Steve Wilks was restoring pride back into the Carolina Panthers.

After just three weeks, Wilks’ mission has been accomplished. Although the interim head coach will be the first to tell you the job is a long way from being complete.

Improved organization, accountability from top to bottom, and better personnel management are leading factors behind increased performance levels. If this continues throughout their remaining games, then the results should come and Wilks will likely be among the front-runners to replace Rhule permanently.