Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks may not have head coaching experience, but his fellow coaches and players believe he is worthy of an opportunity.
Wilks is expected to interview for the Giants' vacant head coaching spot as early as Monday. The-48-year-old, who is expected to see interviews with the Bears, Colts, and Lions, deserves these looks from teams to be their next head coach, according to Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.
"Yes, I believe the Giants are first on his agenda," Rivera told The Post's Peter Finney Jr. "I think Steve deserves the opportunity. He's a heckuva football coach, and he's done a great job. He's had a lot of success in his career, and I know a lot of people are reaching out to him. I think he'll get his opportunity."
Wilks, however, said he is going to need a little time after "an emotional loss" on Sunday night to the Saints in a NFC Divisional Round game. He is planning to do the Giants' interview, though.
"Right now it's even tough to talk about because it's right after the game and it was an emotional loss," Wilks said. "I'm just going to spend some time with the coaches and players and then regather my thoughts [Monday]."
As for if Wilks will be a good head coach, he has backing from one of his safeties, Kurt Coleman, who thinks he owns all of the characteristics to succeed in a bigger role.
"I mean, he's a great man of character," Coleman said. "He's very detail-oriented, and the thing that I love about him is he's a great teacher. He's going to get to know all of his players and know their strengths and weaknesses. He's going to make you grow as a player and as a person."
It is because of these qualities that Coleman can see Wilks as a head coach. He is already one of the best coaches he has had in his eight-year career.
"He's going to be a phenomenal head coach," Coleman said. "He is, hands down, one of the best coaches I've ever been able to play for. He gets to know every single body and understands what makes you tick. He's not going to coach you the same way. He always says he's a teacher, so he finds ways for everybody to grow and learn and push themselves."
Another veteran in CB Captain Munnerlyn attributes his growth as a player to Wilks.
"He's been great to me and for my career," he said. "He's always a guy who's pushed me. He's a great leader. He's looking for the opportunity, and I hope he gets it."