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Can Steve Wilks And Tennessee Avoid Another Black Coach Shutout?

With NFL head coaching vacancies now dwindling down with Jon Gruden accepting the Raiders job, Matt Nagy getting tabbed by the Bears as their franchises 16th head coach, Matt Patricia expected to go to Detroit, Pat Shurmur expected to get the Giants job and the Indianapolis Colts zoned in on Josh McDaniels, that leaves a crop of ready-for-action, qualified African-American candidates and two job openings. 

Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks is supposedly still in the mix for the Arizona Cardinals job, but he isn’t their first choice and the franchise isnt expected to give any of the other leading African-American candidates like Harold Goodwin, Kris Richardson, George Edwards a real look, which leaves the Tennessee Titans, who fired head coach Mike Mularkey this week. 

As things look now, Tennessee has heavy interest in Wilks and he is a serious candidate per thescore.com and other reports. Wilks is probably the last great Black hope for African-American coaching candidates this season. 

theScore NFL on Twitter

Report: Titans considering Panthers’ Wilks for head coach vacancy https://t.co/sNSiJkVgic

He was reportedly scheduled to interview for the position Wednesday, but it was postponed due to snow. Wilks has already interviewed for head coaching jobs with the Colts, Cardinals, Lions and Giants.

Wilks led the Panthers defense to a seventh-ranked finish and high marks across the board. He’s been an assistant head coach to Ron Rivera since 2015 and he’s ripe for a shot. Atlanta Falcons assistant Keith Armstrong is also a sleeper pick to save the day. He will interview a second time with the Cardinals and has an outside shot at the job, according to the Arizona Republics Kent Somers.

If Wilks and Armstrong whiff, the situation will be very reminiscent of 2013 when no minority candidates were hired among the leagues 14 new head coaches and front-office bigwigs. Minorities were outraged that qualified black candidates were being overlooked and Fritz Pollard Alliance Chairman John Wooten told the Shadow League at the time that his organization was very disappointed with the hiring process as a whole this offseason.

Things have gotten better as the NFL lost an African-American coach this offseason, but retained the five others that were in place despite the fact that four of those coaches had losing records this season. 

However, if Wilks cant pull off the Titans job, its going to be a shutout for qualified African-American coaching candidates this season and thats disappointing no matter how you slice it. 

Maybe theres a quota on how many minority coaches are allowed in the NFL because we cant seem to reach the double digit mark. Eight minority coaches is the high water mark. The league reached that mark in 2011 and in 2017 before the number dropped to seven this offseason. 

I guess NFL owners feel that right now, eight is enough. 

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