3 factors Panthers owner David Tepper can’t ignore with Steve Wilks

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
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Steve Wilks
(Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /

Steve Wilks knows what winning culture looks like

In 2015 the Carolina Panthers had their best season in the team’s short existence by going 15-1 and appearing in Super Bowl 50. It’s worth remembering that Steve Wilks was on the staff during this prolific spell.

Wilks was massive factor in cornerback Josh Norman’s development as he tallied career highs in interceptions (4), touchdowns (2) and fumble recoveries (2), also securing three forced fumbles and 18 pass deflections. To nobody’s surprise, this came with a thoroughly deserved All-Pro selection.

Carolina’s defense ranked No. 11 in passing yards allowed per game that year. They were No. 6 in total defensive scoring.

In 2017, Wilks was promoted to defensive coordinator and his success that season would be key in landing him his first head coaching job in the NFL. While Matt Rhule looked to move away from the old ethos – one that was highly successful – there was very little substance and a cultural reset under the interim appointment is reaping substantial rewards.

If anyone knows how to establish and facilitate this team’s way of life, it’s Wilks. That’s the long and short of it really, but whether David Tepper makes things more difficult than they ought to be is another matter.

Wilks has made his case no matter what happend over the next four games. He can establish a winning culture and bring the best out of his team if given the opportunity.

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