This would be my first choice. Steve Wilks was initially expected to join riverboat Ron Rivera as the Washington Redskins new defensive coordinator, but that evaporated after the team announced they’d signed Jack Del Rio to be their next defensive coordinator.
Wilks most recently worked as the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator. The Browns drastically improved in 2019 after an 0-16, 2018 season. Wilks is one of the better defensive minds currently in the game.
There is a chance the Browns try and retain Wilks, but with a new coaching regime coming in after the team wisely decided to part ways with head coach Freddie Kitchens after just one season, the new coach will likely prefer his own staff.
Wilks spent the 2018 NFL season as the Arizona Cardinals head coach after having tremendous success with the Carolina Panthers as the teams DC. The familiarity and success the two had together certainly fueled the Washington rumors.
Wilks didn’t get a fair shake as the Cards head coach. He inherited a rebuilding Arizona team with a rookie Josh Rosen at quarterback with limited weapons on offense beyond Larry Fitzgerald. He finished the season 3-13. Sound familiar? Back to a DC position, Wilks went.
The Cleveland Browns defense wasn’t exactly a juggernaut in 2019, but they finished better than the Lions. Cleveland finished with the 20th ranked total defense. It was a group that played spectacular against the pass, allowing just the 7th most yards. It was a different story defending the run. The Wilks led group allowed the 30th most rushing yards along with 28th most rushing touchdowns against. Also, the Browns redzone defense ranked 26th.
The 50-year old Wilks calls a very aggressive defense; he may compliment Matt Patricia’s conservative style nicely, perhaps finding a middle ground.