As a result of the Panthers’ hiring, Steve Wilks is “disappointed.” A. Reich, Frank

After losing the Carolina Panthers’ head-coaching position to Frank Reich, Steve Wilks claimed he was “disappointed but not defeated” on Friday.

The legal company representing Wilks replied Thursday to Reich’s hire by claiming that “there is a serious racism problem in the NFL” and that it will have “more to say in the coming days.”

Wilks, who is Black, thanked players, coaches, and staff for their support as interim coach on Twitter without mentioning Panthers owner David Tepper. After sacking Matt Rhule after a 1-4 start, Tepper awarded Wilks his local team.

Wilks finished 6-6 as interim coach and was a near-unanimous player pick for the full-time job. Reich was graciously congratulated.

Wilks wrote, “The sun rose this morning and by God so did I.” “Disappointed but undefeated. I know what it’s like to persist.

“I enjoyed coaching the Carolina Panthers as temporary head coach. Thanks, players, coaches, and staff. I loved representing Charlotte. Thank you, family, friends, and community.

“I wish Frank Reich well. Carolina Panthers fans forever.”

“#KEEP POUNDING,” Wilks said. Carolina punter Johnny Hekker responded first to Wilks’ letter Friday. Reich’s hiring Thursday silenced players on Twitter.

“I adore him unconditionally!” Hekker tweeted. “Excited for his future.”

Carolina Panthers hire Frank Reich as new head coach to reunite with franchise's first starting quarterback | NFL News | Sky Sports
Source: Sky Sports

Most players used “total love” to support Wilks’ hiring. “Being a head coach in the NFL, you have to be a leader and know how to handle a room,” guard Austin Corbett told ESPN in the final week of the regular season. “He’s done great, and we need to continue on this momentum.”

After Rhule to Wilks, the Panthers improved statistically, especially on offence. They went from 24th in scoring (18.6 points per game) to 15th (22.1), last in yards per game (271.4) to 17th (331.5), and 27th in running (89.8 yards per game) to sixth (144.6).

Reich, the first offensive-minded Panthers coach, won out.

Seven of the nine job candidates were offensive-minded, indicating the search committee’s direction. Reich, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and defensive specialist Wilks were re-interviewed. The Panthers hired the first of five NFL clubs with head-coaching vacancies. The other four have not interviewed Wilks.

The Panthers’ recruiting procedure “disturbed” Wilks’ NYC legal firm, Wigdor LLP.

“We are startled and dismayed that despite the excellent work Coach Wilks accomplished as the interim coach, including bringing the club back into postseason contention and winning the support of players and fans, that he was passed over for the head coach position by David Tepper,” the business stated. Friday was the company’s last reaction.

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