The Cleveland Browns overhauled their coaching staff and Terry Pluto says the most important hire for head coach Freddie Kitchens was Steve Wilks
The entire coaching staff looks different now for the Cleveland Browns as they moved on from interim coach Gregg Williams in favor of former interim offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens.
After placing Kitchens in charge, the Browns then added many assistants, each of which seemed to be a home run hire. However, none will have the kind of impact on the success, or failure, of the 2019 Browns that Steve Wilks will have.
The former Arizona Cardinals head coach takes over as defensive coordinator for Cleveland and Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com says that this is the ‘most important hire’ for Kitchens.
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Pluto also says that he was their top choice for the position and they made sure to bring him in quickly.
"“Wilks was the Browns’ top choice to be the defensive coordinator. They targeted him early and set up an interview quickly. They believe his leadership can be a game-changer for the Browns. His experience as a head coach will make him more effective as a coordinator. He is extremely popular and respected in NFL circles. He is considered a good motivator. He knows the 4-3 defense. He likes to blitz. His expertise is working with defensive backs. He seems like a good fit.” — Pluto, Cleveland.com"
One of the biggest reasons Pluto likes the addition of Wilks to the staff is his experience as a head coach. Sure, he has just one season in the role and it wasn’t a successful one, but he still has experience. And as Loki from Avengers Infinity War points out when asked if failure is experience — “I consider experience, experience.”
Wilks is a highly respected defensive coach and was great in his one season as defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers before taking his job with the Cardinals in 2018. That season was set up for failure as there were off-field issues with the general manager and Wilks was given Sam Bradford as a starting quarterback.
The roster was also subpar and in the end, there was too much for him to overcome. Now, he can take what he learned in that tumultuous year and offer a sounding board for Kitchens — while also taking care of the defense for the offensive-minded head coach.
So while the Browns did a great job filling out their staff, the assessment on Wilks is perfect. He truly is the most important hire for Kitchens in 2019.