Steve Wilks Image Credit: Carolina Panthers

Carolina Not Hiring Steve Wilks Exposes the Coded Language of ‘Offensive Minded’ Coaches

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On Oct. 10, the Panthers suffered an embarrassing 37-15 defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. That loss signaled the end of Carolina’s failed Matt Rhule head coaching experience.

Sitting at 1-4 and owning a downward trajectory, Panthers’ owner David Tepper named team defensive coordinator Steve Wilks the interim head coach and tasked him with righting the ship.

Wilks’ new role was reminiscent of his brief time in Arizona. There he inherited a defense ravaged by bad managerial decisions, an atrocious offense and a rookie quarterback in Josh Rosen, who wasn’t worthy of his first-round selection.

In other words, he was destined, arguably set up, to fail.

Arizona ended up firing Wilks, a defensive coach, in favor of Kliff Kingsbury, an “offensive minded” coach.

It was a humiliating end to Wilks’ first head coaching opportunity.

The Cardinals gave Kingsbury four years and he responded with a 28-37-1 record. At the end of this past season, he was fired and fled to Thailand.

Steve Wilks deserved the luxuries afforded to Kingsbury. He deserved the opportunity to coach Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins and the time to develop a team.

Seeing Black head coaches put in undesirable positions and then fired in the NFL isn’t, unfortunately, a rare occurrence.

Last season we witnessed it when the Dolphins fired Brian Flores after back-to-back winning seasons and Houston fired David Culley after he cleaned up the mess left behind by former Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien. We witnessed it again this season when the Texans fired Lovie Smith after doing the best he could with Houston’s talent-challenged roster.

This means that the Texans humiliated three Black head coaches (Romeo Crennel took over after O’Brien was fired) in a row for failing to win with meager resources.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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