Ousted defensive backs coach Steve Wilks is hopeful that he will land a gig coaching in the NFL for next season.
Wilks was let go Monday with one year remaining on his contract, the first in what could be a series of moves with the staff by coach Lovie Smith.
Wilks joined the Bears in 2006 after Perry Fewell departed for Buffalo. He can be credited with helping bring along cornerback Corey Graham, who emerged as a bright piece of the future in his second season after being a fifth-round pick from New Hampshire in 2007. He also worked with Trumaine McBride when the seventh-round pick was forced to start nine games in 2007 as a rookie.
``Corey made some progress and when you look back at when Nate [Vasher] was hurt he was able to step in and do some good things,'' Wilks said. ``We've got some players back there, Nate was hurt and Peanut [Charles Tillman] was banged up. When those guys are healthy, they're going to do an outstanding job.''
Wilks had some initial contact with Bowling Green University about their head coaching vacancy early last month but it didn't go beyond a few conversations. He had previously worked at the school. He hopes to remain in the pro game and with the change that comes with this time of year there will be a half-dozen openings or more for him to keep an eye on.
Smith is seeking his fourth defensive backs coach in six years.