Steve Wilks ‘dissatisfied’ after Panthers rent Frank Reich

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Steve Wilks on Friday mentioned he was “disappointed but not defeated” after being handed over for the Carolina Panthers’ head-coaching job, which went to former Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich.

There was no point out of a possible discrimination lawsuit just like the one Wilks filed in opposition to the NFL after being fired by the Arizona Cardinals after one season (2018), though the legislation agency that represents Wilks responded Thursday to Reich’s hiring by saying that “there is a legitimate race problem in the NFL” and that it might have “more to say in the coming days.”

Wilks, who’s Black, additionally did not point out Panthers proprietor David Tepper by identify in his message posted to Twitter by which he thanked gamers, coaches and employees members for his or her assist because the interim coach. It was Tepper who gave Wilks the chance to steer his hometown crew after firing Matt Rhule following a 1-4 begin.

Wilks went 6-6 because the interim coach and was a near-unanimous selection by gamers to get the full-time job. He was gracious in his congratulations to Reich.

“The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I,” Wilks wrote. “I’m disappointed but not defeated. Many people aren’t built for this but I know what it means to persevere and see it through.

“It was an honor for me to teach these males within the Carolina Panthers locker room because the interim head coach. Gamers, coaches and employees, thanks in your exhausting work and dedication. I took satisfaction in representing Charlotte, an ideal metropolis that I like a lot. Thanks to my household, pals and the neighborhood in your overwhelming assist.

“I do wish Frank Reich all the best. I will always be a fan of the Carolina Panthers Football Team.”

Wilks ended his message with the crew mantra: “#KEEP POUNDING.”

The primary Carolina participant to reply to Wilks’ message Friday was punter Johnny Hekker. Gamers had been silent on Twitter after Reich’s hiring Thursday.

“Nothing but absolute love for this man!” Hekker posted to Twitter. “Can’t wait to see what his future holds.”

That “absolute love” summed up what many of the gamers mentioned in making a case for Wilks to be employed.

“Being a head coach in the National Football League, you have to be a leader, you have to know how to control a room,” guard Austin Corbett instructed ESPN over the past week of the common season. “He’s done a fantastic job, and we need to just build off this momentum we have.”

Statistically, the Panthers improved rather a lot after the change from Rhule to Wilks, significantly on offense. They went from twenty fourth in scoring (18.6 factors per recreation) to fifteenth (22.1), from final in yards per recreation (271.4) to seventeenth (331.5), and from twenty seventh in speeding (89.8 yards per recreation) to sixth (144.6).

However, in the end, the Panthers went with Reich, the primary offensive-minded coach in crew historical past.

That seven of the 9 candidates for the job had been offensive-minded indicated early within the course of the place the search committee was headed.

Wilks, a defensive specialist, joined Reich and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore in getting a second interview for the job.

The Panthers had been the primary of 5 NFL groups with a head-coach opening to make a rent. Wilks has not but been interviewed by any of the opposite 4.

Wigdor LLP, the New York Metropolis-based legislation agency that represents Wilks in his discrimination swimsuit in opposition to the NFL, was “disturbed” by the Panthers’ hiring course of.

“We are shocked and disturbed that after the incredible job Coach Wilks did as the interim coach, including bringing the team back into playoff contention and garnering the support of players and fans, that he was passed over for the head coach position by David Tepper,” the agency mentioned in an announcement.

The agency mentioned Friday that it might not have any additional response at the moment.