4 Carolina Panthers players coming of age under Steve Wilks in 2022

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) D'Onta Foreman
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) D'Onta Foreman /
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Which Carolina Panthers players are coming of age under the expert guidance of interim head coach Steve Wilks during the 2022 season?

The feel-good story surrounding Steve Wilks and the Carolina Panthers is fast becoming one of the league’s most surprising. His immediate impact across the franchise has come with renewed hope they can wrestle the NFC South crown from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which seemed improbable earlier in the campaign before Matt Rhule was fired following three years of inept management of team affairs.

There’s just something different about the Panthers since Wilks assumed command. An improved sense of professionalism has been matched by NFL-caliber leadership, which is another major element of his influence that’s been extremely well-received.

Whether the Panthers make the playoffs remains to be seen. But whichever way it goes, Wilks couldn’t be doing much more and there are a number of players that owe him a great deal.

With this in mind, here are four Panthers players who are coming of age under Wilks in 2022.

Player No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson /

C.J. Henderson – Carolina Panthers CB

It didn’t start well for C.J. Henderson in 2022 and there have been times under Steve Wilks when the cornerback has struggled. But credit must go to the former first-round selection for responding to the interim head coach calling him out in a recent press conference positively.

Henderson’s been performing much better since Week 11 at the Baltimore Ravens. Although it’s a relatively small sample size, this represents the most solid foundation of the player’s career to build upon.

Wilks is working his magic with Henderson. Even though it’s been a gradual process rather than a miracle occurring right away.