By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
Steve Wilks is out as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals after just one season. Wilks will be the first one and done head coach since Chip Kelly’s firing in San Francisco two years ago.
Wilks started his coaching career at the college level for Savannah State University. He then moved up to the NFL, working for the Chicago Bears and the San Diego Chargers. When Ron Rivera became head coach for the Carolina Panthers, he brought Wilks with him, moving up from secondary coach to assistant head coach in 2015.
Wilks interviewed with both the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants before landing the job in Arizona.
We have relieved Steve Wilks of his duties as head coach.https://t.co/Th2Zuh3nGC
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 31, 2018
Arizona had a rough season, winning just three games, two of those against the San Francisco 49ers. They had the worst offense in the league, ranking last in points per game, total yards, passing yards, and rushing yards. Their defense was a bit better, ranking 26th in points, 20th in yards, 6th in passing yards, but dead last in rushing yards.
The Cardinals will have the first pick in the 2019 draft.
So where do the Cardinals go from here? They will need to find a coach who can and wants to build around their rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, who had 2,278 yards this season. There is a strong chance they will lose their future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald who has said he will decide quickly whether or not to retire. They also still have running back David Johnson, one of the best runners in the league.
Whoever is the next HC in Arizona will inherit a young team that needs to be developed. They will have to get ready quickly, however, as the NFC West will be a tough challenge. The Rams, Seahawks, and 49ers (once they recover from all their injuries) are going to be formidable opponents for years to come.
Wilks, being just 49 years old, will no doubt find another job quickly. He will be a hot commodity for a coordinator positions, possibly returning the the Panthers who have a vacancy at defensive coordinator.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG