Steve Wilks not bashful about benching starters

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The decision to go with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen over veteran Sam Bradford necessarily becomes the most noteworthy personnel decision made by new Cardinals coach Steve Wilks. But, as explained by Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic, Wilks has made clear his willingness to yank established players at will.

McManaman points to a sequence late in Sunday’s latest loss for the Cardinals. Starting running back David Johnson was pulled due to a mental error and, as Johnson was hearing about his blunder from position coach Kirby Wilson, rookie Chase Edmonds lost three yards on a critical third down and two.

I was very confident in the call,” Wilks said. “I was very confident in Chase being in there.”

Plenty of fans don’t share that confidence, blaming the loss to the Bears on the decision not to use Johnson in that moment. Still, it’s all part of Wilks’ stubborn insistence on a true meritocracy.

“I think as a man, if you look in the mirror and say, ‘You know what? I’m not performing well,'” Wilks said. “‘Coach has given me every opportunity to be able to step up and play.’ I think I’ve shown to these players throughout the best 11 are going to play. We’re going to keep the best 53, whether you’re a draft pick or a free agent. The opportunity is there and one thing about it, there’s no favoritism. I want guys out there that are going to be out there making plays and that are going to help us win football games. And that’s the opportunity that you’re given each week.”

So far, the players who have played in the first three weeks collectively haven’t made enough of their opportunities to secure a win. And it gets no easier this week, when the Cardinals head to Seattle.

18 responses to “Steve Wilks not bashful about benching starters

  1. Is Steve Wilks going to cut off his nose to spite his own face? Maybe.

    If the Cardinals don’t show any sign of life soon, I do wonder if he will be a one and done.

  2. Watch the clip of Johnson “missing” the block. The blitz was on the other side and DJ ran an option route off the other LB. There was no missed assignment. McCoy made the decision to take one of the most explosive players in the league for arguably the most critical play of the young season. McCoy has to go.

  3. So you don’t put your best offensive player in because you’re trying to teach him a lesson and it costs you the game? Isn’t that what watching film is for…to point out mistakes. Your philosophy isn’t going to win you many games or create job security.

  4. The only person that needs to be benched is Wilks!!
    This guy has no clue how the game is played. Doesn’t
    know what to do with Johnson or any player for that
    matter. Him and his bunch of dinner table personnel
    need to be replaced unless the owners don’t mind an
    0-16 season which is on the horizon. Just ask the BROWNS
    how it feels. I’m sure they will have some stories to tell!!

  5. I’ve heard coaches say and do dumb things but this has to rank right up there with the worst. Your best player misses an assignment so you take him out on the most important play of the game to teach him a lesson? What is this pee-wee league?

  6. This guy is in way over his head! That late 3rd and 2 and they didn’t have David Johnson out there?! Dumb. The end of the first half featured a bumbling poorly timed timeout on 4th and long with about 40 seconds left too. That forced them to punt. They should have let it run down to 2 seconds and tried a long FG or Hail Mary. But instead because Wilks and Mike McCoy are complete morons, they called timeout and had to punt. Put them on the Hot Seat.

  7. Its not like the Cardinals have drafted prominent players over the past 7 years. Its finally catching up tp them. Bruce Arians covered the glaring holes in the roster. Theres a reason BA was NFL coach of the year, twice in 3 years, for 2 different franchises. This roster just isn’t very good

  8. Yanking out your best player for making a mental error….how’s that working out for you…you just might need to look at your self and your conservative play calling as to why your 0-3

  9. So far the guy has come in and changed everything that was good about the Cards, and failed to create anything good of his own making.

    You just sign your star RB to a big guaranteed contract, and then sit him on a crucial play for a teaching moment? Then the coach lies and says Chase was just as capable, which beggars why the new contract for Johnson was needed.

    How many times do we have to hear, the plays called are all great, the players just can’t execute. Hey coach, that pretty much confirms the play-calling isn’t great.

    And while I have been following the Cards since they came to AZ, I have never heard a head coach use the word “I” as much as Wilks, as in “I will make that decision”..”I haven’t decided that…”…”I will know when the time comes. It’s as if he feels the need to reinforce the idea that he is in charge in every single sentence he utters. Insecure much?

  10. Dumbest coach call of the week. No doubt. Other than the players not showing up for Vike/Bills game. That one is all on the coach.

  11. #1) The game is in Arizona this weekend.

    #2) SEA is by far the worst team Arizona will have played thus far this season come Sunday. Arizona’s players have been learning a new system both offensively and defensively, both of which are starting to play much better & the offense will be much better with Josh Rosen at the helm over Sam Bradford, Bradford’s career is done as he is done both physically and mentally playing scared. The Hawks do not have much of a pass rush and Josh Rosen is much better throwing downfield than Bradford is at this point, working the intermediate area of the field. The Hawks corners, especially Tre Flowers who is a 3rd string CB are nowhere near as talented as what they’ve had in years past. Arizona is going to beat up on SEA in Arizona come Sunday.

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