4 Carolina Panthers that far exceeded expectations in 2022
Steve Wilks – Carolina Panthers interim HC
Relieving troubled head coach Matt Rhule of his duties was almost a given after the Carolina Panthers were thumped by the San Francisco 49ers on home soil. This rudderless ship needed a hero, someone to pick them off the canvas and reinstall the ethos that’s made the franchise so successful since its inception.
Step forward, Steve Wilks.
The interim head coach was allocated a thankless task given the mess Rhule left behind. This challenge became steeper when the Panthers traded Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey before the deadline.
Instead of rolling over and accepting things as they appeared, Wilks immediately got to work. His professional approach, no-nonsense demeanor, and meticulous planning transformed Carolina from potentially landing the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to coming within touching distance of a shock NFC South title.
Wilks went 6-6 during his time at the helm. The players all want him back on a permanent basis, but team owner David Tepper is examing all options that now include Sean Payton after the New Orleans Saints granted Carolina permission to speak with their former head coach.
Just what this means for Wilks is undecided. But he won’t be short of job offers if the Panthers eventually decide to go in a different direction.