4 positives and negatives from the Carolina Panthers hiring Frank Reich

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Frank Reich
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Frank Reich /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /

Carolina Panthers players backed Steve Wilks

Throughout Steve Wilks‘ time as Carolina Panthers interim head coach, leaders in the locker room vouched for the respected figure to get the job beyond 2023.

Will Kunkel of FOX Charlotte reported that players, including captains, accepted and respected the decision to hire Reich. But it is difficult to believe fully buy-in nearly as much as they did with Wilks.

"“A group of 10-15 Panthers players (captains and other leaders) made it well known to the Panthers brass that they understood the Frank Reich hiring and were excited, despite the public support for Steve Wilks. Reich is well respected.”"

Reich is a well-respected figure across the league, and he is a professional through and through. But another coaching change after a player-favorite coach who led the team for 12 games was passed up could be difficult for those within the locker room to immediately accept.

Team culture was a large factor in Carolina’s impressive turnaround in 2022. Despite Reich’s experience and leadership, it will be tough to have the same buy-in as they had when Wilks was the interim coach.

What comes next for Wilks is uncertain. However, the former Arizona Cardinals head coach is unlikely to be out of work for long given the immense impact he made across the Panthers.