4 Panthers legends that could return under Steve Wilks in 2023
By Dean Jones
Steve Smith Sr. – Former Carolina Panthers WR
- Position: Wide Receivers Coach
This would be an extraordinary turn of events. One that is a dream more than a reality.
Steve Smith‘s relationship with the Carolina Panthers is right where it needs to be once again. His departure in free agency was a travesty and denied Cam Newton a legitimate No. 1 option throughout the quarterback’s prime, but fences have been mended and it’s evident he deeply cares about the franchise to this day.
Smith is a no-nonsense character with a fiery personality that became dominant on almost every NFL football field. He’s got a great gig with the NFL Network right now, but could the former Utah star be tempted into a coaching role by Steve Wilks if he gets the opportunity to form his own staff team?
The notion appears unlikely, and Smith might not have the patience to become an NFL coach, in any case. But nothing can be ruled out at this stage and to say this would be met with fan approval is understating things slightly.
Wilks is taking things one day at a time, which is bearing fruit as the Panthers gear up for their NFC South title decider at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17. Should the interim appointment somehow get Carolina into the postseason, then team owner David Tepper would have no choice other than to give him the keys to the kingdom long-term.
As for Smith, he’ll be a vocal supporter of Wilks and everything he stands for. Even if that’s likely to be on the outside looking in rather than as a member of his coaching staff.