Steve Wilks of Panthers can pass the temporary card

The Carolina Panthers may not have to look far to find their next head coach.

Interim head coach-turned-defensive coach Steve Wilks is performing better than expected in Carolina, taking the Panthers to a 2-3 record in the five games he watched on the sidelines.

The big part of that record is that two of these wins come with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons. If generous DJ Moore hadn’t been flagged for taking off his helmet in celebration of a Hail Mary encounter, the team would have most likely wiped out the Falcons and sitting Wilks 3-2.

The Panthers’ victory under Wilks will have implications for the 2023 NFL Draft.

An undesirable consequence in the next cycle of coaching could be Carolina picking lower in the draft and not having a compelling opening equal to a team with a better chance of winning a franchise quarterback.

However, Wilks has stabilized the Panthers after Carolina sacked Matt Rhule in October. The team is far from perfect, but the longtime defensive coordinator is providing an opportunity for him to transition from an interim to a full-time position. time.

Wilks received short-term results in Arizona in 2018, a one-time hire who never really got a chance to prove his worth on the Cardinals got into trouble after outlining quarterback Josh Rosen with a high pick in the first round.

Panthers pawnbroker Shaq Thompson says Wilks’ message of “Win the Day” is resonating in Carolina’s dressing room.

“You have to live like that, and that’s how Steve lives here,” Thompson said, via Darin Gantt of “We can’t let what happen [in the team’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals] affect this week. So win the day. Win meetings, win practice, win more meetings. That’s how I accept it, and how many people here accept it.”

With Wilks infiltrating Carolina’s locker room and achieving unexpected success on the field, his job with the Panthers could become more permanent after the season ends.

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