Falcons monitoring Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks, per report

There is no shortage of qualified candidates for the Atlanta Falcons to consider for their defensive coordinator vacancy. After interviewing Saints assistant Ryan Nielsen on Tuesday, the team is now eyeing another coach from an NFC South rival.

According to a report from Panthers beat writer Sheena Quick, the Falcons are “closely monitoring” what happens with Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks.

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The Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule after a 1-4 start, naming Wilks as the interim coach for the remainder of the season. Wilks went 6-6 over the final 12 games despite the team trading away RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Robbie Anderson.

Carolina’s resurgence helped the team climb back into the division race over the final four weeks of the season. Many assumed Wilks had earned the head coaching gig beyond 2022, but the Panthers appear to be dragging their feet.

If Carolina goes in a different direction and Wilks doesn’t land a head coaching gig elsewhere, the Falcons should look to pounce on him for their defensive coordinator vacancy.

Brian Flores, Jerry Gray and Al Holcomb are also believed to be in the running to replace Dean Pees, who retired after spending two seasons as Atlanta’s defensive play-caller.

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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire