Steve Wilks, the interim head coach of the Carolina Panthers, feels he has the potential to turn around an 11-4 club that recently dismissed its head coach. Although quarterback Baker Mayfield is projected to miss two to six weeks with a high ankle sprain.
Mayfield suffered a high ankle sprain. The high ankle sprain that Baker Mayfield suffered does not appear to have caused any other structural damage, according to a source close to the quarterback who spoke with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Tuesday.
However, the quarterback is expected to need anywhere from two to six weeks to recover from the injury.
Mayfield Expects to Return from Injury Soon, But He’s Realistic
According to the source, Mayfield wants to try to play through his injury as soon as possible but realizes that it would be difficult to do so.
“Wilks said on Tuesday at his introductory press conference that “We have the guys who want to get it done.” Owner David Tepper was there for the event.
“When viewed from the perspective of how we go about practicing every day, our work ethic has remained stable throughout this whole process. “Now all that’s left to do is go out there and execute and finish the games.
Therefore, I have a great deal of confidence in the guys that we have, and I am certain that we will be able to turn the corner.” On Monday, Tepper fired Matt Rhule five games into the third season of Rhule’s seven-year, $62 million deal, and appointed Wilks his interim coach. Rhule’s previous position was head coach.
Tepper said that Wilks, who is 57 years old, would be taken into consideration for the full-time post in 2023 if he applied for it and “does a great job.”
To accomplish this goal, it will be necessary for Wilks to begin his second tenure as a head coach with former XFL all-star PJ Walker serving as his quarterback.
Walker will need to play for the Panthers when they face the Los Angeles Rams (2-3), who are the reigning Super Bowl champions. The game is on the road and will take place on Sunday. “Wilks confirmed that PJ was awake and prepared.
Fantastic Preparation for The Day
“Every day, he does an excellent job of getting ready for whatever the day may bring. If it comes down to it, I have complete faith in him to take charge.” On the roster of active players, Walker is the only quarterback who is in good health.
Sam Darnold, the starting quarterback for the 2021 season, is still recovering from an ankle injury he sustained in August and is many weeks away from being ready to play again.
In addition to pursuing the acquisition of a new quarterback, the Carolina Panthers are expected to promote quarterback Jacob Eason from the practice squad to the active roster this week. Eason was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Wilks, meanwhile, is concentrating on the Rams and trying to turn around the fortunes of a squad that has dropped 11 of its previous 12 games. “Wilks said that our performance has been satisfactory enough to win games. “
“We have to find a way to finish, and that begins with me as well as the coaches, and we have to figure out how to do it.” Wilks served as Ron Rivera’s defensive coordinator in Carolina from 2012 to 2017, before being named Arizona’s head coach for the 2018 season.
After just 13 games, his performance was deemed unacceptable, and he was let go. While Mayfield was the quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in 2019, he served as their defensive coordinator.
He was the Panthers’ defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach before returning to his former team in the summer.
As Interim Coach, He Released Phil Snow
With the defense doing well enough through the first five games to win, one of his first decisions as interim coach was to remove Phil Snow, who had previously worked with Rhule at Temple and Baylor.
Wilks has announced that Al Holcomb, the defensive run game coordinator, will be the defensive coordinator and will be in charge of play-calling on Sunday. Holcomb also served as Wilks’ defensive coordinator at Arizona.
Wilks has remarked that although the overall plan won’t alter much, the way things are done would need innovation. All of it depends on the opponent. On defense, stopping the run and forcing opponents into a single strategy is priority number one.
Wilks has said that the first step in the Panthers’ offensive strategy is to “attempt to run the football” to “get some momentum and some consistency.”
Despite having Christian McCaffrey available for all five games, the Panthers are dead last in overall offense and 27th in running (89.8 yards per game).
Wilks is well aware that his status with the club is contingent on the team’s performance under his leadership, and that the track record of interim coaches getting hired permanently is not positive.
However, it is not his main concern. He predicted that “our method” would ultimately prove successful.
The Los Angeles Rams are our first opponent; therefore, we must focus on beating them before anything else. Whatever happens at the end of the year will take care of itself.
The Washington Post found that since 1990, 14 black coaches have been designated interim coaches in the NFL, but just three have been given permanent positions.
Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs, Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings, and Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers all won half their games as interim coaches before being promoted to head coach.
According to the Post, there was no pattern in the instances when white temporary coaches were given permanent positions.