49ers must replace DeMeco Ryans with one of these top coordinators
By Peter Panacy
49ers defensive coordinator candidate No. 2: Steve Wilks
Steve Wilks certainly didn’t get the best end of the bargain after taking over for fired head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers immediately after San Francisco ended the latter’s tenure there.
Wilks, who had been with Carolina as an assistant previously between 2012 and 2017, was named the interim coach to replace Rhule. But, despite improving the Panthers over the second half of the season and nearly getting them into the playoffs, Carolina ultimately elected to hire former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich.
Perhaps Wilks would have been the wiser choice.
Granted, Wilks’ previous stops as a coordinator and head coach haven’t always gone well, including ugly stints with the University of Missouri, the Cleveland Browns and the Arizona Cardinals.
That said, the Panthers still had the 14th-best defense in the league last season, which is notable considering their offensive ineptitude.
If there was a way to improve offseason stock, Wilks did it. And the 49ers should pay attention.