4 major Carolina Panthers differences under Steve Wilks in 2022

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Steve Wilks
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Steve Wilks /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /

Carolina Panthers have gotten back to basics

Not many anticipated the Carolina Panthers becoming anything more than bottom-feeders with a leading chance for the No. 1 overall selection when Steve Wilks replaced Matt Rhule. It’s not perfect, but the growth displayed indicates more could be on the way long-term if David Tepper is convinced by what’s transpired following the landmark change.

Wilks has gotten back to basics. This all starts by winning in the trenches and building an offense around a physical running game led by the outstanding D’Onta Foreman.

Of course, there are some serious questions to answer at quarterback. Not exactly uncommon over the last three years thanks to a series of failed personnel moves after Rhule went back on his initial word and released Cam Newton in 2020.

Despite these obvious limitations, Wilks is getting a tune out of his players. This bears more significance on defense, with Al Holcomb’s introduction as defensive coordinator bringing about improvements across the board.

The core is there for Carolina to build a potential contender. But what Tepper needs to figure out is if Wilks has enough in his locker to sustain these improvements from a permanent head coaching role.

Much will depend on how the Panthers get on over the next five games. The calls to go with Wilks are growing louder by the week, but Tepper’s opinion is the only one that matters and this is known to be unpredictable at best.

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