After a 3-13 season, which secured the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals have relieved head coach Steve Wilks of his duties.
It isn’t much of a surprise to those who have watched this miserable season unfold in the desert. Josh Rosen looked like the least prepared of the rookie quarterbacks after being called the most NFL-ready all offseason. David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, supremely talented players, were next to useless all season. Even though Wilks came from a defensive background in Carolina, Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones couldn’t continue their dominance in 2018.
Wilks is likely to have coaching opportunities this upcoming season, but not as a head coach. When it looked as though things were going off the rails this season, he wasn’t capable of righting the ship. Though the team has issues elsewhere that can’t all fall on Wilks’ shoulders.
Why Was Steve Keim Retained?
General manager Steve Keim completely failed the Arizona Cardinals. From training camp on, this team couldn’t be successful without fixing the offensive line. Keim didn’t utilize free agency properly and ignored everything but the center position in the draft, which didn’t go well.
Failing to fix the offensive line is mind-boggling. At the onset of the season, the starting quarterback was Sam Bradford, who is known for being injury prone. Drafting Rosen and throwing him to the wolves after seeing Bradford get battered because of the lack of protection is on the GM. Not helping the franchise running back with some quality blocking is inexcusable as well. All of this is ignoring the DUI and time spent in prison for Keim in the summer of 2018.
Possible Coaching Candidates
Owner Bill Bidwill and Keim are already starting the interview process, and there are many candidates. It’s rumored that Adam Gase has the lead in the process, but here’s a list of possible interview candidates for Arizona.
- Adam Gase-Head Coach- Fired from Miami Dolphins
- Eric Bieniemy, Offensive Coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
- Dan Campbell, Assistant Head Coach, New Orleans Saints
- Pat Fitzgerald, Head Coach, Northwestern Wildcats
Fitzgerald is likely to be a hot commodity if he leaves the college ranks, Green Bay is reportedly very interested in him. Gase deserves another chance to run his offense. Bienemy is getting a lot of looks after a season as the offensive coordinator in Kansas City. Campbell is a wild-card, having been with several teams and several very good coaches. Hopefully, the team takes it’s time to find the right pick, rather than getting themselves stuck in a situation akin to the last offseason.