Report: Steve Wilks’ firing “seems a foregone conclusion”

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As the final Sunday of the regular season approaches, a team that saw its head coach retire a year ago could now have a vacancy arising in the more traditional way.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic characterizes the looming termination of first-year head coach Steve Wilks “seems a foregone conclusion.”

That’s a phrase Somers likely crafted carefully, choosing the right words to communicate the current sentiment, without putting a clear stake in the ground that Wilks is definitely out — since it’s entirely possible that the final decision hasn’t been made, and that if there’s a current lean by the organization something could, in theory, change it.

The notion of a coach getting only one year on the job always sparks surprise, but the reality is that plenty of coaches have found themselves out after only one year on the job. Wilks would join the likes of Chip Kelly and Jim Tomsula, a pair of back-to-back one-and-done coaches with the 49ers in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Before that were Browns coach Rob Chudzinski (2013), Jags coach Mike Mularkey (2012), Raider coach Hue Jackson (2011), Seahawks coach Jim Mora (2009), and Dolphins coach Cam Cameron (2007).

Other coaches fired after one season since 1980 include Art Shell (Raiders, 2006), Marty Schottenhimer (Washington, 2001), Ray Rhodes (Packers, 1999), Joe Bugel (Raiders, 1997), Pete Carroll (Jets, 1994), Richie Petitbon (Washington, 1993), Rod Rust (Patriots, 1990), and Les Steckel (Vikings, 1984).

The broader question will be whether the Cardinals also will fire G.M. Steve Keim. He seemed to be on thin ice after an arrest for extreme DUI, the misguided decision to pay more than $15 million for one year to Sam Bradford, and whatever role Keim had in the hiring of Wilks. But Somers believes Keim’s history will get him at least one more year. (It also helps to have a strong relationship with owner Michael Bidwill.)

And so, as the season comes to an end, it appears that Wilks will be, and that Keim will be safe. Ultimately, however, nothing is done until it’s done. Or as the case may be not done.

62 responses to “Report: Steve Wilks’ firing “seems a foregone conclusion”

  1. The entire staff deserves to be fired for the offense alone. How does a coaching staff turn David Johnson into Chris Ivory? And they better get someone in there who knows how to handle a young QB because Rosen is lost. Rosen has not improved at all and that’s on the coaching staff.

  2. Right because he’s the architect of this horrible roster the Cards have. He’s also responsible for all the failed first and second round drafts picks who never amounted to anything-which has co tributes to why the roster is so bad. Steve Keim needs to be the one fired. Not to mention he just had his second DUI this offseason.

  3. Nice guy, but is just not a leader of men. It is Keim’s own fault since Wilks wasn’t even among the candidates Michael Bidwill was considering. Wilks walked up to Keim at a North Carolina beach, introduced himself and made a solid impression. It’s time for Keim and Wilks to go, so we can hire a real head coach. McCarthy and Rosen, and return to the 3-4: let’s do it!

  4. Has he really done that bad of a job when you consider the talent level on that team? It’s usually never a good sign when a team fires a coach after one year. It makes you wonder who would want that job.

  5. Keim hired Wilks after meeting him on a North Carolina beach last summer and being impressed by him. Keim hired Mike McCoy and wanted a strong offensive coordinator for Wilks (because he wanted to hire McCoy as HC in 2013.) Keim gave sam bradford 20 million for 3 games. Keim drafted deone buchanan, Michael floyd, jonathon Cooper, hasson reddick ALL in the first round. None of them played up to their draft status which suggests they were over drafted and mis evaluated. I’m not saying Wilks is Belichick but Keim has done him NO favors!!!!

  6. Unfortunately there is to little talk about ownership and Bill Bidwell. That probably has more to do with the Cardinals performance than anything.
    They’ve struggled since their St. Louis days with the exception of a couple years.

  7. It’s going to take a couple years regardless, so yank the band-aid off and build around Rosen. That includes a new coaching staff.

  8. If Keim should be fired for paying 15m for one year to Bradford….Spielman and Zimmer should be fired for paying 84m for three years to Cousins. Just saying.

  9. ilovetalkingsports says:
    December 17, 2018 at 8:38 pm
    Has to go. The fanbase can’t wait for him to leave. They need a offense guru to mentor Rosen

    Rosen has developed into the worst of the rookie QBs. The delusional media in AZ think it is because “he is a rookie” and outside of Fitz, has no receivers or O-linemen. Of course, going into this season everyone thought the Cardinals roster was better than the Browns, Jets, and Bills. Keim put together the roster. So why is Rosen worse than those teams’ rookie QBs? As tough as it is to consider, maybe Rosen is NOT the franchise QB the team was hoping for. Looking at yesterday’s game, Mike Glennon looks more like the franchise QB.

  10. Fire Keim and his assistants.
    Wilks was given too many BAAAD players on the roster.
    FA signings were thin and only a couple of them made significant contributions.
    If you fire Wilks, fire Keim and all of his merry men in the front office dealing with signing FA and the NFL draft.

  11. I think Josh Rosen is going to become a great QB. I’d hate to fire a coach after one year, especially when they spent the year breaking in a young pocket passer. I’d give it at least one more year. Heck, it’s hard to count this year against the coach. I’m not thinking the list of rookie QB’s who won super bowls is a long one.

  12. G.M. Keim invested PREMIUM draft picks and millions of free agent dollars over the years into the offensive line with poor results. Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford and Rosen aren’t mobile so a stout pass blocking line has never been provided to either QB. You have a top running back DavidJohnson and you field an oline that isn’t good at run blocking. Then you hire a defensive backs coach who has no head coaching experience AND allow him to bring a defensive coordinator with no experience and they take a top defensive unit last season, mostly intact, and turn them into the worst in the league. 3 first round picks in Deone Bucannon, Nkemdiche and Hassan Reddick are benched and cant be used in Al Holcombes system or just a flat out bust in Nkemdiches case. Mike McCoy didnt even make it to the bye week before he was canned. Gave Sam Stinking Bradford 20 million. None of this is defensible. Arizona is a dumpster fire.

  13. I think Micheal Bidwell has to look at the whole organization. In the last 5 years, how many great 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft picks have the Cards had? These first 3 draft choices and you F/A signings tell a lot about the success of your team. You build thru the draft and you fill needs thru F/A signings. Draft picks 4 and 5 are players you think can be ready to contribute next year, or the year after. Picks 6 and 7 are you long shots. If your drafts are not successful, you need to look at who is making those draft choices and take action. Normally I would say when you hire a new HC, you need to give him 2 years to see what he is capable of. In Wilkes case, I think is wasn’t prepared to be a HC when he got the job, and more importantly, I don’t see the Cards progressing any in his first season. I’m OK with cleaning house at the end of the season.

  14. Very few QBs coming into the NFL are ready to start their first year let alone the first game, some need a year on the bench, some need two, it’s the GM and HCs job to figure out which one they have and make the proper move. Since 2000 well over sixty(60) percent of 1st round QBs end up being busts and IMHO I think the biggest reason is because they try and rush these guys onto the field way too quickly and guess what?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>The over 60% BUST rate screams “IT’S NOT WORKING”!!!<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    This level is so far advanced from the college level and very few QBs are ready for it and can adjust to it in a just a few weeks of training camp and pre-season. We're talking about playbooks with over 200 plays vs the 40-50 plays they ran in college. Also in college they're limited to 20hrs/wk praticing including the game, that turns into FULL-TIME + some in the NFL, then there's the speed of the game, the fact that these NFL players are far better, stronger and smarter than any player these QBs have faced in college. So technically it's not really the next level it's like going from jr. high straight to college, IT'S A HUGE JUMP FOR QBs!

  15. abcisezas123 says:
    December 17, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Keim’s gotta go, but Wilks was, after all, kinda their fifth choice.

    >>>5th choice is no excuse! The Colts had the last at-bat in terms of hiring a HC and they HIT IT OUT OF THE PARK, it’s not about where you pick it’s all about making the right choice!

  16. He better not hire Kevin stefanski away from Minny, the vikes are going to need him to win a couple Lombardis if they’re ever going to do it.

  17. If he is fired and Rivera does not get the reactionary boot, I think he 100% winds up back in Carolina. Until last night, the defense has not been remotely the same…

  18. Wills should have never been given the job anyway. Couldn’t understand last year when they was talking about him as a hot candidate. Dude has no personality, tries to sound like a hard ass but comes off sounding like a dumbass!

  19. Feel bad for the guy because I honestly don’t know if anybody could have done hugely better. They’re 4-10 and are absolutely no better than a 6-win team.

  20. Arians kept Keim alive for years, it finally took its toll trying to always coach without talent. Now he strapped his hand picked coach with no HC experience with more of the same…What makes Bidwell think he can get them out of this? Pay him off till he gets a scouting job and start fresh.

  21. Feel bad for the guy because I honestly don’t know if anybody could have done hugely better. They’re 4-10 and are absolutely no better than a 6-win team.
    3 and 10. there fixed it for u.

  22. @minnesotablizzard says:
    December 17, 2018 at 7:50 pm
    He showed everyone he was in over his head when he pulled Bradford during a winnable game and threw that horrible rookie QB to the wolves
    You mean like Sean McDermott did, except his was to a playoff bound team and the rookie promptly threw FIVE interceptions in one half. So McDermott got another year, which they don’t look any better, so should Wilks.

  23. One thing I didn’t like about Wilks was instead of putting the talent in position to succeed, he stuck to his schemes and the defense suffered for it. He should have been more willing to fit the talent in until he got his guys and scheme set.

  24. You really have to give a first time head coach 3 seasons to truly evaluate. Maybe 2 if it’s a complete disaster from day one, but 1 year just isn’t enough, and it really sets back the franchise. Having said that, I’d gladly take Wilks back as the DC in Carolina. Assuming, of course, that Tepper doesn’t fire Rivera and reboot, which might not be a bad idea either. Rivera’s a good coach, and he wouldn’t be jobless for long, but sometimes a shake up is in order. After seeing Carolina’s defensive performance last night, and the complete ineptitude of the offense (Cam shouldn’t be playing with that shoulder. It’s goosed!), I think Rivera should stay, and Norv Turner should be put out to pasture with Mike Martz. The game has left him behind, much like it did Martz.

  25. It’s always head-scratching when an NFL franchise, with all it’s resources, hires a HC, and then fires him after one season?! Whatever happened to giving a guy a fair chance? It would seem to be a failure of ownership/front office to hire a HC, and then abruptly fire him after just one year on the job?! Don’t get it…

  26. PantherP says:
    December 17, 2018 at 6:32 pm
    he’s welcome back in Carolina


    I co-sign this and shouldn’t have left!!!

  27. I’m usually one of the last people to hop on the one and done train, but there are many reasons why I think it is fair.

    1. Steve Wilks has shown zero ability to adapt in games, which is why they’ve scored points and then given up upwards of 40 points.

    2. Steve Wilks is a defensive minded head coach, but the defense has only regressed.

    3. Steve Wilks has not been able to develop Rosen whatsoever.

    4. Steve Wilks has consistently done the same things over and over again and expected different results.

    5. When asked yesterday on local media if he would do anything differently, he completely dodged the question. He hasn’t shown any willingness to change or learn from mistakes that have cost the cardinals games. There have been numerous games where bad coaching decisions, not lack of execution, have cost them. They’d have at least 5 wins, probably 6, if they didn’t have many of the clear coaching gaffes on display.

    6. Wilks is still trying to get across the fundamentals of the game to his team. It is near the end of the season, and they are still learning many of the things they should already have learned in training camp. When asked about this alarming trend, Wilks stated “every team is still learning the fundamentals”. It shows either a clear lack of understanding the problem or a coach with too much pride.

    These are just the basic issues that most fans see with the coach. For the record, I am 100% on board with Keim being fired. I don’t think you can blame one without the other, but it is clear that Wilks is not the coach for the Cardinals. I think that falls on both Keim and Bidwill, because they vastly overestimated Wilks’ game management skills as well as his ability to integrate a 43 scheme with a 34 roster.

  28. How Wilks could possibly be primarily responsible for the Cardinals’ troubles is beyond me. He’s being punished for Keim’s decisions-like the decision to hire someone who his owner was not considering. It’s not Steve Wilks’ fault he’s being fired, I think we can all conclude that, but unfortunately he will have this on his resume’ for his career.

  29. Arizona Cardinals are the new Cleveland Browns.
    How does one losing season due to Arians and Palmer retiring equate to being ‘the new Browns’? Rebuilding takes time, and last time I checked, did Arizona become ‘the Browns’ when Kurt Warner retired? No, they had 3 down seasons, and bought in Arians to begin the next era of contention/ I’d worry about not losing to Kansas City, or else Arizona may be here to spoil your postseason dreams!

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