Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera is widely respected around the NFL. Regardless of what fans think of Rivera’s record as a head coach, he is revered across the league.
On Saturday, Rivera showed why he is so admired.
Former Carolina Panthers interim coach, Steve Wilks, posted a message to Twitter thanking the city of Charlotte, the Carolina players, coaches, staff and the community after he was passed over as the organization’s next head coach.
Wilks led the Panthers to a 6-6 record after the team fired head coach Matt Rhule on Oct. 10. Carolina had traded star running back Christian McCaffrey and released quarterback Baker Mayfield, leading many to think ownership was attempting to tank the remainder of the season.
Yet Wilks led the Panthers to one game from winning the NFC South and earning a playoff berth.
On Friday, Carolina owner David Tepper hired former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich to lead the Panthers.
Wilks handled it with the class.
— Steve Wilks (@ScoreonD) January 27, 2023
On Saturday, Rivera responded.
Steve it has always been an honor to work with U. You have shown U have what it takes to be an NFL HC. I look forward to that day U are given the opportunity again! #NFL
Rivera and Wilks have a long history together — in Carolina. Rivera hired Wilks in 2012 as his defensive backs coach. In 2015, Rivera added the assistant head coach to Wilks’ title for two seasons before promoting him to defensive coordinator in 2017.
Wilks did so well that he earned a head-coaching opportunity with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. That didn’t go well, with Wilks and the Cards going 3-13, and he was fired after just one season.
Before Rivera hired Wilks in Carolina, the two worked together in Chicago and San Diego.
After his work in Carolina in 2022, Wilks showed everyone why he deserves another opportunity. If he doesn’t land a head-coaching opportunity this cycle, he’s certainly in line to be someone’s top choice as a defensive coordinator. If that goes well, Wilks be landing interviews to be someone’s head coach again in 2024.
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