The final “top-candidate” is an interesting one. Steve Wilks was recently fired after just one year as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Prior to that, he was the defensive coordinator in 2017, and the associate head coach/defensive backs coach from 2012-2016.
However, Arizona chose to go in a different direction and moved on after just one year. It seems a bit unfair to can a head coach just one year into his tenure, especially when dealing primarily with a rookie quarterback as your starter but welcome to the modern NFL.
Why he’ll get the job
Like Bowles, Wilks is a highly respected defensive coordinator whose 2017 Panthers’ unit was ranked No. 1 in the NFL. During his time with the team, the Panthers’ defense was always considered a strong suit, so he certainly has the pedigree to take over a unit with as much talent as the Bears.
He also has some familiarity with Chicago, having served as the team’s defensive backs coach from 2006-2008 under Lovie Smith.
Why he won’t get the job
Ironically, he may not get the job because he may not want it. Perhaps he wants to take a year off from coaching before he gets back into it. He may still be getting over the fact that he was fired, and wants to reassess his next steps.
He also doesn’t have the same connection with Nagy, and his only connection to the team is his prior stint from 2006-2008, so if Nagy and Pace prefer someone more familiar with the staff, Wilks is the odd-man out.