4 offensive coordinator candidates if Panthers keep Steve Wilks in 2023

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
3 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) Duce Staley /

Carolina Panthers could target Duce Staley

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the Detroit Lions this season. But they never stop fighting and a mini-resurgence in recent weeks is further testament to the character installed by head coach Dan Campbell and his coaching staff.

If the Carolina Panthers had half as much fight when Matt Rhule was head coach, the former Baylor man might still be around. This has improved drastically with Steve Wilks and if he gets the job long-term, giving Duce Staley a call for their expected change at offensive coordinator could be a tremendous bit of business.

Staley is gaining a big reputation in league circles. His no-nonsense approach and unrivaled passion as a player are coming across during his coaching journey and his influence as assistant head coach/running backs coach in Detroit could mean a well-deserved promotion might be in the offing.

The Lions’ offense is humming of late, which has some speculating whether offensive coordinator Ben Johnson could get some head coaching consideration when the time comes. It’s a situation that cannot be ruled out, which would likely see Campbell promote Staley into his first play-calling duties to prevent his departure.

This would be a win for the Panthers if they could get Staley, who seems tailor-made for the culture Wilks is building. His focus on running the football physically – which Carolina is currently doing with aplomb – would also smooth the transition in this scenario.