If the Carolina Panthers based their head coaching search solely off the opinions of their players, Steve Wilks probably would have been the runaway choice. But that’s not how this works.
On Thursday, the team announced the hiring of Frank Reich—who, obviously, beat out Wilks for the position. The loss for and of Wilks will undoubtedly hit the locker room right in its heart, as the 52-year-old won over his guys throughout the course of his inspiring 2022 interim tenure.
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Nonetheless, it’ll be time to move on for these Panthers—who, according to Will Kunkel of FOX Charlotte, are ready and excited for the new chapter under their new leader.
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.
— Will Kunkel (@WillKunkelFOX) January 26, 2023
Similarly to Wilks, Reich has a reputation as a player’s coach. (Heck, he’s a coach’s coach, too.) A one-time Panther himself, the former quarterback has garnered rave reviews throughout his time in the league—most notably in his stops with the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts.
So while it’ll be tough to see Wilks go, the Panthers seemingly understand the business of the game. And now, they’ll be in business with one of the most respected men in the sport.