After getting the sack as head coach of the Cardinals after one season and hardly being given any chance whatsoever to succeed, Steve Wilks may be just about to land on his feet.
Per ESPN insider Adam Schefter, the Browns are hammering out a deal with Wilks to bring him on as defensive coordinator under new head coach Freddie Kitchens.
The #Browns are working on a deal to hire former #AZCardinals head coach Steve Wilks as their defensive coordinator, sources say. A strong hire to work with all that talent as new coach Freddie Kitchens builds his staff.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2019
Freddie won the hotly-contested battle to succeed Hue Jackson on a full-time basis in Cleveland, having previously served there as offensive coordinator. In Wilks, he would have an experienced hand who's cut his teeth in both conferences; before taking the reins for the Cardinals, Wilks was an NFL assistant for 12 years for the Bears, Chargers and Panthers.
Filling the shoes of Gregg Williams, the defensive coordinator who parlayed a spirited run as the Browns' interim head coach after Jackson was axed, won't be easy. He endeared himself to the players and the fans from the jump, helping the team to a 5-3 record in the second half of the season, only to end up taking up defensive duties for the Jets (reportedly).
Carolina Defence DVOA Rankings (Steve Wilks Role):— Jack Duffin (@JackDuffin) January 11, 2019
2016 - 10th (Assistant Head Coach & DB Coach)
2017 - 7th (Assistant Head Coach & DC)
2018 - 22nd (Left for Arizona HC)
But for Wilks, hope springs eternal. And though getting fired as a head coach after one single (albeit miserable) season surely stings, there's something fascinating happening right now in Cleveland.