ARIZONA CARDINALS

With preseason wrapped, Cards’ Wilks feels team identity has been ‘solidified’

Aug 30, 2018, 11:09 PM | Updated: 11:32 pm
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, left, greets Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph after...
Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, left, greets Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph after a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks was not thrilled after his team lost 21-10 to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night in the team’s preseason finale.

“Definitely wasn’t good enough tonight,” he said.

As far as players expected to make an impact in the regular season, the Cardinals didn’t have many of them on the field. Wide receiver Brice Butler was the most notable player on the offense and second-year linebacker Haason Reddick was on defense.

At quarterback, Mike Glennon started, meaning both Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen did not play.

That didn’t matter to Wilks, who suffered his first loss as an NFL coach.

“The expectations do not change, regardless of who is on the field,” he said.

Arizona failed to move the ball consistently on offense, totaling 162 yards on the night and only 10 first downs. The Cardinals’ defense wasn’t there to back them up, allowing 347 total yards to Denver.

With the shortcomings on the field Thursday night in mind, the progress on Wilks’ overall goal is still there.

“The identity has been solidified based off the things we’ve done in the past and that’s not gonna change,” he said.

That past started all the way back in mid-May.

“We came in in OTAs and he kind of kept mentioning exactly what he wanted to get out of us and what he expected from us and letting us know that the expectations aren’t gonna change,” cornerback Bene Benwikere said.

The good news is the Cardinals are not settling in the slightest, as Wilks’ mood reflected after the defeat.

“The one area of concern right there is continuing to be smart,” Wilks said. “The pre-snap and post-snap penalties — we can’t take that into the season and we gotta continue to be aggressive in trying to take the ball away and most importantly protect the football.”

Most importantly, the players share that same mentality with Wilks. They have seen the culture come together, but they know there is more development and growth needed in the future.

“I feel like we’ve kind of established our identity, but I feel like we can go way deeper,” wide receiver Chad Williams said. “We can be way more physical than we are, we’re much, much smarter than we’ve played. A few little mistakes and penalties on us sometimes, but I feel like we have taken great strides toward that.”

Arizona Cardinals

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.
1 day ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
1 day ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
3 days ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
4 days ago
With preseason wrapped, Cards’ Wilks feels team identity has been ‘solidified’