Should Dolphins consider Steve Wilks for defensive coordinator?
The Miami Dolphins have been searching for a new defensive coordinator over the last week after firing Josh Boyer, along with three of his positional coaches, from the role.
While they’ve interviewed four coaches for the job already, one new coach has just been made available, as the Carolina Panthers officially made Frank Reich the newest head coach of their organization on Thursday. This frees up Steve Wilks, who served as interim head coach after Matt Rhule was fired midseason.
Wilks has an expansive resume that begins with coaching at an HBCU, Johnson C. Smith, back in 1995. Since then, he claimed his way through the college ranks and made it to the NFL. He served Panthers assistant head coach and defensive coordinator back in 2017 before getting the head coach job with the Arizona Cardinals.
He was fired after just one season, the Cardinals’ lone with Josh Rosen, and he’s worked as a defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns and Missouri.
After Rhule was fired this past season due to a 1-4 start, Wilks led Carolina to a 6-6 record over the next 12 games and had them in contention for the NFC South late into the year.
If Miami wants to stick with the blitzing defenses that they’ve tried to implement in recent years, Wilks could be their guy. In his two seasons as defensive coordinator in Carolina and Cleveland, and his one as head coach with Arizona, his defenses finished in the top four in blitz rate.
With Carolina and Arizona, his defensive backs blitzed at a top-five rate as well. The Dolphins used guys like Brandon Jones and Eric Rowe to do a lot of that from the secondary in recent years.
However, Wilks also tends to use a lot more zone than Boyer did, which may fit better if the roster, specifically the secondary undergoes changes.
More than his work on the field, it’s clear that his players put in the maximum effort this year when it would’ve been much easier to pack it in after Rhule’s departure. Miami needs a respected, experienced leader of the defense, and while he may not be the top option for them, he should be an option.
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Story originally appeared on Dolphins Wire