4 changes making a big difference for Panthers under Steve Wilks

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Steve Wilks
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Steve Wilks /
1 of 4

What changes implemented by interim head coach Steve Wills have made a big difference for the Carolina Panthers since Matt Rhule was fired?

The Carolina Panthers made the correct decision to end Matt Rhule’s time with the organization after another pathetic loss in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers. In truth, it should have happened long before David Tepper finally pulled the plug, with the former Baylor man offering no progression and plenty of excuses throughout his three years at the helm.

This left the Panthers at a crossroads. Trading two established figures – Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey – before the deadline cast further doubt on this team’s short-term aspirations in 2022, but interim appointment Steve Wilks was in no mood to roll over and accept Carolina’s widespread fate among the local and national media.

Wilks is a proud man and an experienced coach. He was unfairly treated by the Arizona Cardinals when given a head coaching opportunity, so the respected figure is aiming to reaffirm belief in his abilities while also living out his childhood dream for good measure.

The improvements ever since are obvious. Here are four changes taking a big difference for the Panthers since Wilks replaced Rhule.

Change No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /

Carolina Panthers are believing again

Morale was dangerously low across the Carolina Panthers in the final days of Matt Rhule’s reign. This was a team devoid of any hope and the fans either avoided Bank of America Stadium entirely or went into every contest expecting the worst.

Now, there is a real belief with Steve Wilks running things. This stems from improved preparation and the locker room pulling hard for a man they clearly want to secure the head coaching position long-term.

Wilks isn’t afraid to go against the grain. One only has to look at the confidence he has in quarterback P.J. Walker to see that.

In a weird way, this is infectious. Being the underdog has always suited Carolina, but one cannot dismiss the added confidence within the locker room in the few short weeks since Wilks’ deserved promotion.