For a second consecutive year, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks’ name is being floated for possible head coaching vacancies.
On Sunday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that if the New York Giants were to hire former Panthers and Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, his choice of head coach replacement would be Wilks.
Head coach Ron Rivera declined to comment on the report, but said that if Wilks’ name is circulating, it’s “deservedly so.”
Wilks, 48, was promoted last year to the Panthers defensive coordinator position following Sean McDermott’s departure to be the head coach in Buffalo. Carolina’s defense currently ranks fifth in the NFL.
“The thing that I’m going to say right now, I’m going to tell you the same thing I told the players, ‘Let’s stay focused on being focused,’” Wilks said. “I’m not really going to entertain it right now, or talk about it at this particular time. The biggest thing we have next week right now is Green Bay, and that’s going to be my focus right now. Whatever happens at the end of the year is going to happen.”
Wilks’ first known head coaching interview was last offseason with the Los Angeles Rams.