Panthers DC Steve Wilks set to meet with Cardinals after visiting Giants
After the Arizona Cardinals reportedly met with Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong on Monday, they’ve yet to interview one known candidate.
That would be Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, one of the hottest names in the mix for the remaining four NFL head coaching openings.
Wilks, fresh off the Panthers’ NFC Wild Card loss, met with the New York Giants on Tuesday. He will visit the Cardinals on Wednesday and is expected to meet with the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday, according to the Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person.
That Wilks will visit Arizona is a positive sign for the Cardinals. The Panthers’ defensive coordinator worked four years with newly-hired Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, and from reports out of New York, it appears Wilks drew an important attendee to his meeting.
Other reports out of New York suggest Wilks isn’t the frontrunner, and stylistically, he could be a better fit with the Cardinals if they decide to go with a defense-first approach to follow the aggressive offensive identity of the Bruce Arians era.
“Where I hesitate with (the Giants’ situation) is Steve is a defensive mind and it sounds to me like up in New York they really are going to try to do some rebuilding work offensively,” said Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, who on Tuesday joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf.
“That’s why I keep going back to Steve maybe having a real shot in Arizona. It just seems like a better fit out there.”
Wilks has also been linked to Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who the Cardinals reportedly interviewed this past week with regards to their head coach opening.
A defensive back who played for Appalachian State and exclusively coached defensive backs at five college stops and for four NFL teams in his career, the 48-year-old could potentially bring out the best for a talented Arizona secondary that includes Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Budda Baker.
Personality-wise, Rodrigue said Wilks is commanding in the locker room, demanding in his expectations but also loving.
“Stylistically, he’s something that a lot of general managers would like to have in a head coaching candidate,” she said. “He’s really stable but he also brings a lot of his own personality to the locker room.
“I think he’s got the type of personality … when he speaks, you want to pay attention to him and you want to listen.”