QCB Back On The Edge To Talk About Panthers Head Coach Hire

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers have a new head coach, and the hire is already stirring up controversy. The team announced it is hiring former Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich for the job. The Colts fired him in the middle of the 2022 season.

This is a full circle moment for Reich. He was Carolina’s first starting quarterback in franchise history, back in 1995. Panthers owner David Tepper chose Reich over the team’s interim head coach Steve Wilks. Wilks had the respect of the locker room, and several players previously said they wanted him to get the full-time job.

The decision is sparking mixed reaction. Former Panther Steve Smith, Jr. tweeted “Great job Panthers and congrats Frank Reich.” Former Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart said, “Solid choice, welcome Frank Reich…” but tweeted later Coach Wilks still deserves to be a head coach. NFL writer Mike Jones saying, “Steve Wilks takes an underperforming team, turns them into a competitive squad, flirts with the playoffs without a legit option at QB… and it wasn’t enough to land the head coaching job.”

Wilks is an alumni of West Charlotte High School. We talked to a member of the school’s alumni association who says they’re organizing a boycott of Panthers games, unless Steve Wilks is the head coach. Eric Greene says Tepper’s decision doesn’t make sense. Greene says, “The fans came back to Panthers stadium, to represent a home town hero, that’s what he is to us, and then he saved the team.”

New York City-based law firm Wigdor LLP represents Steve Wilks in his discrimination suit against the NFL after he was fired after one season as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. His attorneys reacted on Twitter on Thursday to the decision to hire Reich, writing, “We are shocked and disturbed that the incredible job Coach Wilks did as the interim coach, including bringing the team back into playoff contention and garnering the support of players and fans, that he was passed over for the head coach position by David Tepper.” It goes on to say, “There is a legitimate race problem in the NFL and we can assure you that we will have more to say in the coming days.”

Our question of the night: Do you think the Panthers should have picked Steve Wilks instead?

This episode features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News Edge contributor Ashley Anderson
Live with the QCB on 94.7 FM host Tremaine “QCB” Sloan