CHARLOTTE – As the Panthers begin preparations for Wild Card Weekend, defensive coordinator Steve Wilks confirmed Monday that three teams – the Lions, Giants and Colts – have requested to interview him for their head coaching positions.
"That's what you work hard for," Wilks said of the opportunities in front of him. "But most importantly, trying to stay focused on the Saints."
Wilks has seen Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott go through this process before, and he has no concerns about balancing his future with the task at hand.
"You do a lot of your research in the offseason, therefore you can stay focused on the season," Wilks said. "When the opportunity comes it's a very speedy process. A lot of the legwork has been done."
The Panthers have a lot of work to do this week as they look to advance past the Saints in Sunday's playoff.
Wilks, who has become known for his blitz-heavy philosophy, said he won't hesitate to bring pressure against quarterback Drew Brees and his notoriously quick release.
"We are not going to allow the offense to slow us down with what they're doing," Wilks said.
As always, Wilks' top priority is stopping the run – a tough task against the tremendous tandem of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.
From there, it's a matter of disrupting Brees' timing in the passing game.
"They are an up-tempo, rhythm team," Wilks said. "Being able to create negative plays and get those guys behind the sticks, and throw their timing off. We have to be physical with their receivers. Everything that Brees is doing is about timing. He's throwing to a certain spot. The key for us is being physical and aggressive up front to throw that timing off."