Carolina Panthers head coach Steve Wilks took the field for the first time as the Panthers interim head coach, following the dismissal of Matt Rhule last week, and already made a statement during his first game at the helm.
He wasn’t putting up with nonsense.
Wilks kicked Panthers wide receiver Robbie Anderson out of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams late in the third quarter after Anderson got into a heated argument with position coach Joe Dailey.
“No one is bigger than the team,” Wilks said of Anderson following the loss, according to ESPN’s David Newton. “I’m not going to focus and put a lot of attention on one individual.”
“I was honestly confused,” Anderson said. “I wanted to be in the game. I’ve never had somebody yell to get out of the game. So I was honestly confused and upset by that. I should be. I don’t see nobody that is a true competitor, that knows the value they bring and has true passion for the game, that will be OK with being told not to do something or being taken out of something when they didn’t do nothing wrong.”
“I don’t want nobody to have a misconception of me,” he continued. “Other times in my life when I’ve had moments of controversy, I didn’t speak up for myself.
“It’s not just about me. It’s when young kids go through similar things, they need to know to stand up for themselves.”
Anderson added that no player should be okay with being told they couldn’t play.
“You shouldn’t be OK with not being on that turf,” Anderson said. “You should want to make a play. Losing is not acceptable. You don’t play this game to lose. You could consider me a loser my whole life growing up. I didn’t get this far in life to continue to be a loser. It’s not what I work for.”
The Panthers are listening to offers for Anderson.
“I’ve been in trade rumors before,” Anderson said. “It’s part of the game. I don’t let it affect me.”
“I wouldn’t say I want to be traded. I’m going to let God follow his plans for my life. I’ll let things take his course on his time.”
“One thing I do and I will continue to do is I give my all in everything I do for this team,” Anderson said. “I don’t play this game for millions. I don’t play this game for fame. I play this game because I love the game of football.
“Regardless of what’s been going on the past week, I always keep my head in it and keep working. All I want to do is help us win the Super Bowl. That’s my ultimate goal for playing the game.”
“Everybody is being evaluated as well as myself,” Wilks said. “We’ve got to figure out what’s going to be the right chemistry to put out on the field offensively and defensively.”