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Have the Carolina Panthers found their new head coach in Steve Wilks?
Despite the team being 2-4 since Wilks replaced Matt Rhule, the team has been playing better as of late, including one of those losses coming down to a missed extra point by the Panthers.
According to Jonathon Jones of CBS Sports, owner David Tepper has been taking notice to Wilks’ coaching style and he could be a frontrunner for the position.
The defensively-oriented Wilks has been able to make offensive strides even with a chaotic situation.
The team has already had three different starting quarterbacks this season. Baker Mayfield won the job in the preseason, only to then be replaced by P.J. Walker. This past week, Sam Darnold started after recovering from a high-ankle sprain suffered during the preseason and led the Panthers to a 23-10 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Oh, and Wilks has also had to rebuild the Panthers’ running game since trading Christian McCaffrey.
Previous reports had Tepper saying that he wanted an offensively-minded head coach. Wilks’ only offensive experience has come while being a head coach. His other coaching stints have either been as a defensive coordinator or positions coach.
Adding a 3-13 season as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018 to the 12 games he will likely coach this season, Wilks will have put 28 games on tape to show what he’s capable of on both sides of the ball.
Obviously a lot depends on how the Panthers play from here on out. Should the team continue to progress and get some more victories, Wilks will have a legitimate argument for why he should remove the word ‘interim’ from his job title.
The Panthers have a bye this week before traveling to Seattle to play the Seahawks.