The short era of Steve Wilks is over as the Panthers hire new head coach, Frank Reich. In Wilks’s era as the interim head coach after the firing of Matt Rhule, the team’s chances to win the NFC South fell short. However, Wilks was able to turn their season around with his leadership skills.
The Panthers were (6-6) under Steve Wilks in the 2022-2023 season. He was named the interim coach due to Matt Rhule’s two-year tenure was an era of doom after the team’s (1-4) season start. Wilks did all he could as the head coach showing tremendous grit and determination and winning the players’ hearts and trust as the season progressed. Still, he needed to do more to keep the job.
Per Tom Pelissero, with Frank Reich hired as head coach in Carolina, Steve Wilks intends to coach elsewhere in 2023. He impressed many around the league in his interim stint. With his impressive turnaround last season, he should have options to go elsewhere.
Who is Frank Reich?
Frank Reich is the ex-Colts head coach, and he became Carolina’s first starting quarterback in 1995. He was only with the organization for his inaugural season. His coaching gig with the Colts, collating a 4-33-1 record through the past five seasons. Indianapolis went to the playoffs twice with Reich and went (1-2) in the postseason during his tenure. The Colts have been to the playoffs since 2020.
The Panthers’ first franchise starting quarterback, Frank Reich is the first coach to get a new job. Reich will sign a 4-year contract deal on Monday, per sources. The amount is still undisclosed. David Tepper has learned his lesson signing coaches to seven-year deals, especially after going (11-27) with Matt Rhule.
The NFL has acknowledged that there need to be more coaches and team executives of color. Nearly 60 percent of the league’s players are Black, and ten percent are people of color. According to Wilks attorney Douglas H. Wigdor (Wigdor Law), “There is a legit race problem in the NFL, and we assure you that we will have more to say in the coming days.“
Turning the season around from (1-4) and ending the season (7-10) is tremendous, and it is a slap in the face to Wilks. David Tepper can’t deny what Wilks has done for Carolina, and no one knows what went wrong, but maybe Wilks wasn’t the guy for the job.
The Panthers Future
In the past 12 months, Carolina has been in the mix with three coaches, ending their long-time tenure with Matt Rhule and turning heads with Steve Wilks. There’s some doubt now that fans know the 61-year-old Reich will take over the coaching jobs.
The future of the Panthers is slightly bright, but viewers will have to wait until the draft and the offseason. Making it to the playoffs two out of five seasons isn’t the worst, but the Colts are coming off a (4-12), which is worse than Steve Wilks’s run as coach.
With Steve Wilks out the door, there’s skepticism if the team can go out there and play with the same fire that Wilks lit under them. The team may have that same firepower, or it will burn out. Although fans are somewhat disappointed with the decision, there’s no turning back.
With no one knowing what to expect, its head-scratching the Wilks didn’t get a chance to continue his amazement controlling the Carolina team. But his future is brighter than ever, and he should be proud of his work in the interim position.
Frank Reich has much to prove in his first year with the Panthers. He will have to sign a QB, stabilize the position, and have a record better than (7-10). The pressure is on him to get the job done, and he has to nail the first pick for Carolina in this upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.