49ers hire Steve Wilks, Vikings hire Brian Flores as DC
There’s something poetic about the rich getting richer in the NFL. The latest example of a rich group making the best move for its franchise comes from a wealthy but unseen individual. write on the wall in front of him. Join David Tepper, who unfortunately has the biggest say in the room about hiring the Carolina Panthers’ next head coach, and hasn’t opted to retain interim coach Steve Wilks for the permanent job. Instead, he went with Frank Reich in a job that no one exactly thought was a success. It’s a C on the report card if we’re nice, and we have no reason to.
Wilks landed on Tuesday with reports emerging that he will be the 49ers’ new defensive coordinator. A defensive specialist with a track record of turning defenses and raising even already elite talent was awarded a silver plate. If the 49ers find their quarterback situation, they’ll be in multiple Super Bowls over the next five years. Combine that with Brian Flores leaving his role as a defensive assistant to the Steelers to become Minnesota’s defensive coordinator. While the “defense” lags behind Lamborghini in San Francisco, maintaining the rotation that began last season in Twin Cities seems much more sensible.
What’s the trend with those two employees? If you say anything about pure football in response to that, be clear. Two Black coaches are qualified to be head coaches right now and are currently leading teams in Charlotte and Miami, and those who have been denied that opportunity multiple times are leading the defence. It’s not a bad consolation award, but both men are poised to succeed in new roles where they’ll soon return as head coaches. The most important words of the previous sentence – SHOULD be, like Flores and Wilks are regarding the case of the former against the NFL, Dolphins and others.
The Vikings have been a big mystery as to how well they actually played for most of this season. With their improved defense, they are not in danger of challenging a long reign at the top of the NFC North. Losing Ed Donatell to Flores was an obvious upgrade but Minnesota didn’t win the championship with Kirk Cousins behind center, but that’s a debate for another time. The 49ers could be a healthy quarterback as it prepares to compete in the Super Bowl right now. Even if Brock Purdy at full strength wasn’t enough to beat the Eagles, not too much had to change for San Francisco to win the Super Bowl. And Wilks take over DeMeco Ryanswho accepted the vacant Texas head coach position, is a phenomenon in that direction.
Instead of Carolina continuing to progress in the worst league in football, a lifesaver awarded to Reich is a reality and doesn’t look very promising. Flores’ trajectory in Miami has been well documented, and his sacking by Stephen Ross remains unfathomable, even as Mike McDaniel led the Dolphins to the knockout stages this season. The two teams that have taken playoff spots this season have only cemented their positions at the top of NFC for so long. And Wilks and Flores will thrive, making every NFL owner’s case weaker so they don’t become head coaches in the future.