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

Carolina Panthers are more of a team

There was no denying that the Carolina Panthers were far too reliant on Christian McCaffrey. Something that proved to be the case once again in 2022 after the running back made a welcome return to full health.

With the Panthers fading fast and Matt Rhule’s fate sealed, those in power took the difficult decision to acquire draft assets for McCaffrey, dealing him to the San Francisco 49ers. This could have made Steve Wilks’ life more difficult, but he’s somehow turned this situation into a positive one.

Remarkable, really. Especially considering how elite McCaffrey remains when fit and firing on all cylinders.

How did Wilks and his staff accomplish this? By turning the Panthers from almost a one-man show into a team again.

Sounds simple. But it certainly wouldn’t have transpired under Rhule’s watch, with many players on the fringes coming to the fore and thriving under a different set of ideas.

The likes of D’Onta Foreman and Terrace Marshall Jr. are the two primary examples of this. Both players weren’t in Rhule’s good graces for whatever reason, but they are excelling under Wilks and long may it continue.

McCaffrey got a good landing spot and Carolina acquired much-needed draft capital, allowing other talents to shine without the All-Pro. So make no mistake, this was a win-win for all parties.