The Arizona Cardinals have seemingly decided on the man that will lead their team into their next stage, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.
News has come down this morning that one of the last head coaching vacancies in the NFL might be very close to being filled. The Arizona Cardinals lost both coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer to retirement in the past few weeks and it seems like they have decided on a replacement for one of those positions, per Mike Garafolo.
This is an interesting hire for the Cardinals. Seeing as they have no real options at quarterback, there was a train of thought that they could side with an offensive style of coach. Let’s face it, what franchise doesn’t want to find the next Sean McVay?
This is certainly not a criticism of the potential hire because Wilks will almost certainly be smart enough to bring in a solid offensive coordinator to help the quarterback position, whoever that might be. Rumors have circulated that Arizona could be a suitor for Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins if he is available.
Wilks brings a strong resume to the Arizona defense. He has been on the Carolina staff since 2012 and has worked his way up from a secondary coach to being the defensive coordinator this past season. The Panthers had a stout defense, finishing in the top 10 in total yards against and rushing yards given up per game.
The unit just missed a top-10 finish in points against. Their weak spot was against the pass, where they finished 18th. Fortunately for Wilks, Arizona boasts the tandem of cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Tyrann Mathieu. Those two represent a great foundation in the secondary and Wilks should be able to pull a lot out of those two.
Wilks may not have been as splashy as Matt Patricia or Josh McDaniels but it seems the Cardinals have found a rock solid coach. Wilks has some great players on the defensive side and Arizona can hitch their wagon to star running back David Johnson while they figure out their quarterback situation.
Hopefully for Wilks and football fans in general, receiver Larry Fitzgerald puts off retirement for at least one more season. The Cardinals could turn the ship around quick in a suddenly loaded NFC West.