Shaq Thompson

Shaq Thompson: ‘Everyone’s Buying In’ To Steve Wilks

Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson says the team is rallying behind interim head coach Steve Wilks as they build momentum.

The Panthers are starting to believe a postseason run is possible following their 30-24 road win over the Seahawks. 

The result improved Carolina to 5-8, and 4-4 since Wilks took over from the fired Matt Rhule. It was their third win in their last four games making them, incredibly, the NFC South’s most consistent team.

With the Bucs, Saints and Falcons struggling to put together coherent seasons, the Panthers have an opportunity.


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“We ride behind Wilks,” Shaq Thompson said.

“He came in here, he’s a true alpha, he’s a true leader, and guys follow behind him. He’s done amazing. Look what we’ve been going through.

“You talk about playoff mentality; I told them boys last night when I talked to the team, these are the games, if you want to be a playoff team, these are the games you have to win, these environments,” Shaq Thompson added. “And these guys showed up.

“We always just stayed together,” Thompson said. “That’s the biggest thing. Win, lose or draw, we were staying together. We were all going to fight for each other. All of our names are on this team, and we’re going to go out with a bang.

“Everybody’s buying in. We’re one game behind, and we’re taking each one one at a time. I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”


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As the team starts to believe, a path towards going from cellar to ceiling is opening up for the Panthers. Their final four opponents – the Steelers, Lions, Buccaneers and Saints all have losing records. 

“It’s thrilling, again, just for the men in that locker room for how hard they work, how dedicated they’ve been,” Wilks said. “We found ourselves to be able to work through ‘it.’ I always talk about don’t allow ‘it’ to get in the way, whatever ‘it’ may be. You know, it started with the coaching change. And you know, I can go on and on with the different things, with players leaving, coaches leaving, whatever. And you know, those men in that locker room, find a way to refocus and get it done.”

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