ARIZONA CARDINALS

Sporting News: Cardinals’ Wilks ranks among bottom half of NFL coaches

Jun 24, 2018, 6:30 AM
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Arizona Cardinals made headlines following the 2017 season when former head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement.

General manager Steve Keim and president Michael Bidwill addressed the concerns in January, however, hiring former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

Becoming a first-time head coach in the NFL, Sporting News’s Bill Bender ranked Wilks among the bottom-half of coaches in the league at No. 27.

But, Bender does expect Wilks to rise in the rankings as the season progresses.

This is overdue. Wilks started at Johnson C. Smith in Division II in 1995 and had worked as an NFL assistant since 2005. He thrived under Ron Rivera as a defensive coordinator in Carolina, so expect the 48-year-old to take advantage of this opportunity

Wilks retained six assistants from Arians’ staff, adding five others.

Former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was hired for the same position under Wilks, while Al Holcomb was hired as the defensive coordinator.

Previously, Holcomb worked under Wilks as the linebackers coach in Carolina.

Along with a slew of new coaches, Wilks and the rest of the Cardinals’ staff added playmakers both through the NFL Draft and free agency so far this offseason.

Arguably the two biggest additions came on the offensive line and behind center, with former Giants guard Justin Pugh and former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford signing with the Cardinals.

Bradford is expected to be used as a bridge for future-franchise quarterback Josh Rosen, who the Cardinals drafted tenth overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Other weapons such as veterans Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, as well as rookie Christian Kirk are expected to improve the Cardinals offense that was riddled with injuries last season.

Meanwhile, a defense that was one of the best in the league last year returns multiple starters, including defensive end Chandler Jones and cornerback Patrick Peterson.

Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
21 hours ago
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball during the game against the Los Ange...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The San Francisco 49ers

The offseason has twisted and turned not only for the Cardinals but for the rest of the NFC West. A look at the current state of the 49ers:
21 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
3 days ago
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) protects his quarterback during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals take OT Paris Johnson Jr. in ESPN 2023 NFL mock draft

ESPN's Matt Miller thinks the Cardinals will beef up the offensive line in his first 2023 mock by selecting Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
5 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice

NFL.com’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
6 days ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
7 days ago
Sporting News: Cardinals’ Wilks ranks among bottom half of NFL coaches