Wilks: ‘Premature’ to talk changes after Cardinals loss to Broncos

Oct 18, 2018, 10:25 PM | Updated: Oct 19, 2018, 9:19 am

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals usually had a long list of ways to seal the leaks in their hull after each of their first five losses.

At the worst moments to this point, they had to fix everything.

But following a 45-10 home loss on Thursday Night Football to the Denver Broncos, they sounded out of answers. “Everything” turned into “I don’t know.”

“You’re a grown man,” left tackle D.J. Humphries said. “There’s nothing more embarrassing than coming out in your home stadium and getting your (expletive) kicked by 30, whatever the final score was. Embarrassed is definitely how I feel.”

After the game, Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks stepped to the podium and issued another hold-your-horses decree. He wasn’t going to proclaim any specific sweeping changes ahead for his 1-6 football team.

“Definitely an embarrassing effort tonight,” Wilks said. “Unacceptable. Got to find ways to get this thing corrected and corrected soon. You guys are going to ask me about changes. That’s premature to ask me about changes right now. Everybody’s going to be evaluated across the board.”

It could be assumed that Wilks was speaking on any coaching staff changes.

Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy’s job security certainly looked at risk heading into the night, and that assumption hardly looked more wrong after the loss with the Cardinals putting up worse-than-usual numbers than their 156 passing yards per game and 64.6 rushing yards averaged heading into Thursday.

Rookie Josh Rosen threw for 194 yards on 21-of-39 passing but along with a touchdown threw three interceptions — two for pick-six Broncos touchdowns — and two fumbles lost.

It was hardly his fault.

An offensive line without starting guards Mike Iupati and Justin Pugh collapsed in the passing game and couldn’t open holes in the running game. Led by running back David Johnson’s 14 carries for 39 yards, the ground attack totaled 69 yards.

Asked if there was a timetable regarding any changes upcoming and whether it had to do with McCoy’s job status, Wilks clarified he must evaluate the team in every aspect.

“When we was talking about changes … it could be personnel, it could be players,” Wilks said. “It could be scheme. When I say premature, it’s premature to talk about it at this particular time without going through the evaluation.”

But when it came down to it, Wilks admitted the offensive woes were the most concerning trend, something that must be corrected heading into a Week 7 game.

“Whether it’s not getting movement up front, whether it’s not protecting the pass game, not being able to make the proper throws or the proper catches, it’s a lot to go around,” the head coach said.

Cardinals players on the offensive side of the ball had fewer answers. Humphries said the Cardinals have “got to figure something out,” adding that the Cardinals have “too much talent for it to not work.”

Johnson, who has spent the season owning up to his own mistakes, had fewer answers. Asked why there have been no noticeable changes through seven weeks, the running back inked to a long-term deal this offseason only had this to say.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. Hopefully tomorrow we watch film and try to fix it and correct it,” Johnson said. “Again, I don’t know what to tell you. Just got to continue to get better and learn from mistakes and come out and keep grinding.”


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