When the Panthers named Steve Wilks their interim head coach in the wake of Matt Rhule’s firing early this season, team owner David Tepper said that Wilks could hold onto the job on a permanent basis if he does an “incredible job.”
Tepper didn’t specify what would qualify as an incredible job, but going from 1-4 to NFC South champs would make for a pretty good case. The Panthers can do that with wins in the final two weeks of the regular season, but defensive tackle Derrick Brown said on NFL Network that Wilks has already convinced the locker room that he’s the right man for the job.
“I’ll speak for everybody in that locker room and say that we want coach Wilks to be our next head coach,” Brown said. “That’s for sure. I think every single week when we come in, he’s gonna tell you exactly how it is. He doesn’t sugarcoat nothing. He keeps it plain Jane, per se. He lets you know exactly what’s going on. You can be one of the best players, but you walk into that building on Monday and he’ll tell you exactly how he felt about how you played. That level of clarity — that’s exactly what we want.”
Tepper has given no indication about his thoughts regarding Wilks’ chances of retaining the job into next season, but they should be pretty good if the players’ belief in their coach translates to a couple more wins.