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Cardinals expected to hire Kirby Wilson as RBs coach

This is a 2016 photo of Kirby Wilson of the Cleveland Browns NFL football team. This image reflects the Cleveland Browns active roster as of Thursday, May 12, 2016 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

A familiar face is expected to re-join the Arizona Cardinals more than a decade removed from his last stint in the desert. Kirby Wilson, who coached running backs in Arizona from 2004-06, will return under the same title as part of new head coach Steve Wilks’ staff, reports 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki.

The Cardinals have not announced the hiring.

Wilson spent the past two seasons coaching running backs for the Cleveland Browns, where he is replaced by outgoing Cardinals running backs coach Freddie Kitchens.

Kitchens will also take on the title of associate head coach.

The 56-year-old Wilson coached running backs for the Patriots (1997-99), Redskins (2000), Buccaneers (2003-04), Steelers (2007-13) and Vikings (2014-15) before joining the Browns in 2016.

In his prior stint with the Cardinals, Wilson coached Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith in his farewell tour that saw him rush for 937 yards in 2004, his 15th season.

The following year, Arizona got a combined 821 rushing yards and out of the Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington duo. Those backs, plus fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo, added 625 receiving yards out of the backfield.

In 2006, veteran Edgerrin James rushed for 1,159 yards for Wilson and the Cardinals.

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