CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) – “You can change an NFL franchise very quickly,” said Panthers’ legend Greg Olsen. “You gotta get the right guy to do it.”
CSL’s Will Kunkel sat with Olsen before the HEARTest Yard Ungala event, supporting children with congenital heart disease.
Wednesday marks ten days since the Panthers’ head coaching search began.
Names like Ben Johnson, Sean Payton, Mike Kafka, Jim Caldwell, and Frank Reich have all been tossed around — but Olsen thinks the decision is much simpler than all those names.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, from a cultural standpoint, Steve Wilks,” Olsen said. “Guys respect him. That’s step one. Everything else falls into place as far as the X’s, O’s, and football.”
After former head coach Matt Rhule went 1-4 to start the 2022 season, he was fired. Wilks took over as interim head coach, leading the Panthers to a 7-10 record, going 6-6 during his tenure as the head honcho.
As Olsen explained, Wilks has control of the locker room.
It was on full display after Carolina defeated Seattle for their first road win of the season. He yelled, ‘protect the bank!’ to his team after the win, as they controlled their playoff destiny, despite an abysmal start to the season.
Though the Panthers fell short of the playoffs, they believed in Wilks.
“The number one job in the NFL for the head coach is to build an environment where everyone feels accountable, a part of it, appreciated,” Olsen elaborated. “When you start mixing it all in a bucket, you get what Steve was able to build.”