The last expected move has been made official, as the Cardinals have fired head coach Steve Wilks, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN (Twitter link).
The team showed a lot of fight in their Week 17 game against the Seahawks but came up short, and it ultimately wasn’t enough to save Wilks’ job. Wilks ended up lasting just one season in Arizona. While being a one and done is rare, it’s certainly not unheard of, and Wilks’ fate was sealed with a 3-13 record. Arizona’s season was doomed from the start, as it was clear right from the get-go that Sam Bradford didn’t have anything left in the tank. Bradford was benched for Josh Rosen, and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was fired shortly thereafter.
The firing of McCoy did nothing to spark the offense, and Rosen showed little progress during his rookie year, which was likely one of the determining factors in Wilks’ firing. Wilks came to Arizona after a successful year as the Panthers’ defensive coordinator, and has always been well liked by players.
It’s been heavily rumored that the Panthers will have a staff shakeup on defense, and Joe Person of The Athletic tweets that he would “be very surprised” if Wilks doesn’t return to Carolina in some fashion. The Wilks firing makes eight openings across the league, and it will likely be the last firing barring any late surprises.
The Cardinals have been linked to a number of coaches, including Mike McCarthy, and are seemingly interested in hiring an offensive mind to pair with Rosen. They also were reportedly impressed with Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores during last year’s cycle, and with Flores set to be one of the top available candidates, could be interested again. At this point it appears that GM Steve Keim, also rumored to have been on the hot seat, has been spared.
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