Kingsbury: It’s time for Cardinals’ Marco Wilson ‘to put it all together’
TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has high hopes for second-year cornerback Marco Wilson.
When the head coach said publicly that the jury was still out on if Wilson could be an every-down starter, Kingsbury wanted to get it across to the cornerback exactly what the team’s expectations were for him.
Despite the nudge, it was Antonio Hamilton who rightfully won the starting spot opposite Byron Murphy Jr. He had put up the better camp and deserved the role.
But a cooking accident not long after his promotion sent Hamilton to the non-football injury list with severe burns and catapulted Wilson back into a position many had expected him to hold entering 2022.
“(He responded) really well,” Kingsbury said of Wilson on Friday. “He really dialed back in. Our defensive coaches were up front with him about the things he needed to do to take that next step and get back to where he was last year. I think he listened and his attention to detail has improved dramatically and I can’t wait to watch him play Sunday.
“Ham was playing great all camp, there’s no doubt, but we think Marco has elite skillset and it’s just time to put it all together,” the head coach added.
If there was ever a game for Wilson to show off his improved play, it’s Week 1 against signal caller Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
On top of Hamilton’s burns, expected contributor and cornerback Trayvon Mullen has been ruled out with a toe injury. Murphy Jr. doesn’t have a clean bill of health, either, as he’s questionable for Sunday with an illness.
That leaves Wilson, rookie Christian Matthew and recently signed Javelin Guidry as the only cornerbacks on the active roster that enter Sunday unimpeded. Of the three, Wilson has the most experience in the defense after playing 14 games (13 starts) as a rookie.
“We got to look at it as next man up,” Wilson said Wednesday. “I have confidence that anybody that’s been playing and going through camp with us that they’re ready no matter who goes down. Although (Hamilton’s) a big loss for us, anybody coming up next is ready. I know that.”