Steve Wilks is pure class, despite not getting the Panthers gig he probably earned

Steve Wilks, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Steve Wilks, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Steve Wilks was pure class in his tweet, despite not being named the next full-time head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Although Steve Wilks was not named the next full-time head coach of the Carolina Panthers, he will not be defined by this.

Carolina became the first NFL franchise to hire its next head coach on Thursday, opting to go with former Panthers quarterback and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich. Wilks was a strong candidate for the gig after having served as the Panthers’ interim head coach for the better part of last season. They went 6-6 and were alive for the NFC playoffs far longer than they should.

Reich is a good man too, but you have to wonder what else Wilks could have done to get this job?

Here is the tweet he sent out Friday morning about being disappointed, but not defeated over this.

"“The sun rose this morning and by the grace of God so did I. I’m disappointed but not defeated. Many people aren’t built for this but I know what it means to persevere and see through it. It was an honor for me to coach those men in the Carolina Panthers locker room as the interim coach. Players, coaches and staff, thank you for your hard work and dedication. I took pride in representing Charlotte, a great city that I love so much. Thank you to my family, friends and community for your overwhelming support. I do wish Frank Reich all the best. I will always be a fan of the Carolina Panthers Football Team. #KeepPounding #Psalm37:23-24”"

Wilks was a finalist for the job, along with Reich and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Steve Wilks shares positive message after missing out on Carolina Panthers gig

Look. This is a complicated situation in Charlotte. Wilks did just about everything he could have done to get the job full-time, but owner David Tepper wanted to go in a different direction. Since he bought the team, Carolina has been a mess at quarterback. By hiring a former quarterback in Reich, he can have faith that he can bring out the best in the franchise signal-caller they bring in.

However, Wilks had the full support of everyone in the locker room. He impressed his colleagues and football fans everywhere with the remarkable job he did in the interim last year. Wilks will get a team of his own here soon, as his stock has arguably never been higher. More importantly, his 12-game run leading the Panthers has made many forget about his brief Arizona Cardinals tenure.

With coordinator gigs abound throughout the league, one would think Wilks will be hired to a team in need in that department. Either in the next coaching cycle or the after, Wilks will in the running to lead his own team again. He may be disappointed, but he has the right mindset to handle this devastating blow to his coaching career. One would think he will grow and learn from this season.

Carolina made a good hire in getting Reich, but losing Wilks was the price the Panthers paid for it.

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