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  • Jennifer Lewis

Carolina's culture is improving with a new head coach and a defense that is surprising the league

As I have been a long advocate of the “send Rhule back to School"., within hours of becoming the head coach for the Carolina Panther, Steve Wilks brought back the Panthers' culture with the motto Keep Pounding. Keep Pounding has sorely been missing since January,2020 and the motto itself gives hope and a spark for the organization.

The first game Coach Wilks coached was against the current Super Bowl champs, the Rams. In that game the first thing that stood out was that out of 53 players, 52 were playing as a team. Carolina traded Robbie Anderson the next day. I sincerely wish him the best. I mean that Robbie has the talent and the skill. It’s the maturity level and the inability to collaborate that concerned many people in Carolina.

Coach Wilks showed that he is not messing around. This past summer Myles Hartsfield told many fans that their defense was going to playing Carolina ball, which is hitting hard and getting after defenders. See that did not surprise me because our D is always solid, always good. Then the 1st game happened, and I saw on the field what my mind frequently looks like. I was disheartened, .as were many other fans.

But then…. Against the Rams are D was stepping up, gelling working as a team but so was the offense. Carolina lost that game, but most people just wanted to see us playing as a team, no one really said that, except me. I was shouting that from the rooftops. That was my goal for this team that I love passionately and a Coach in which I have I have the upmost respect for.

Then tragedy struck, the Panthers traded Christian McCaffrey. Based on my football knowledge, I think Carolina might trade for him back in 1.5 seasons if we are where we are capable of being. Because I think that at that point the San Francisco 49ers are going to be looking at a rebuild themselves then.

We play Tampa Bay. We beat Tampa Bay. The storyline was how bad Brady was. To be honest, our defense was on FIRE against them. I have not seen our d like that so consistent during a game since 2015. The thing that stuck out to me was that against Tampa Bay, Ron Rivera knew how to beat them (still does) he also knew how to beat the Patriots and Tom Brady (still does). Guess who else was on that coaching staff, Steve Wilks.

Today’s game actually impressed me. Atlanta has had our number since 1995, the lead the I-85 Rivalry 31-20. Back to why I was impressed today. Wilks is the first coach to give Walker a starting position over a name brand. I think it was the right call. PJ has the talent, but now we need to build him up. He was torn down so much under Rhule and sadly Rivera. The guys were responding better to PJJ then they have to Baker all season long. PJ was obviously nervous initially, it's understandable. The fact that we were in this game until the bitter end is so impressive, perfect? No, better that we would have been 4 weeks ago? Yes.

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