Arizona Cardinals fire head coach Steve Wilks after one year
Dec 31, 2018, 9:09 AM | Updated: 11:55 am
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Steve Wilks’ tenure in Arizona has come to an end.
The Arizona Cardinals fired their head coach Monday, the team announced. An earlier report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Wilks had informed his staff that he wouldn’t return for the 2019 season.
Wilks, 49, just finished his first season as the Cardinals’ coach and signed a four-year contract in January. He replaced Bruce Arians, who opted for retirement after an 8-8 season last year.
Wilks’ brief time in Arizona was tumultuous.
Arizona was 3-13 and suffered nine double-digit losses under Wilks.
The Cardinals lost their first four games of the season and started 1-6 before firing offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. They managed just 13 points per game under McCoy and suffered four double-digit losses before replacing the coordinator with quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich on Oct. 19.
Less than a week later, franchise cornerstone Patrick Peterson reportedly asked to be traded.
Wilks said the Cardinals wouldn’t trade Peterson, and the cornerback reaffirmed his commitment to the team two days after word of his dissatisfaction leaked. But it proved to be another distraction for an organization looking for stability following the retirement of Arians and former starting quarterback Carson Palmer in the offseason heading into 2018.
There wasn’t much improvement following McCoy’s departure and after the Peterson saga.
The Cardinals defeated the San Francisco 49ers for the second time before their bye week, then resumed their freefall.
They lost to the Kansas City Chiefs before suffering a pair of losses that did nothing to help Wilks’ chances.
First, the Cardinals lost at home to an under-manned, one-win Oakland Raiders squad on a last-second field goal. A week later, they let Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers set an NFL record with 25 straight completions to the begin what ended as a 45-10 defeat.
An impressive road win over the Green Bay Packers was negated a week later when the Cardinals flopped in a 17-3 home loss to the last-place Detroit Lions.
Arizona followed up the Lions loss with another poor performance against a last-place team, falling 40-14 to the Atlanta Falcons on the road.
Wilks’ final home game as the Cardinals’ head coach was a 31-9 loss to the Rams.
He finished his Cardinals’ career with a 27-24 road loss to the Seahawks.