Cardinals fire Steve Wilks after rough first season lands Arizona 2019 NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick

Just as they did in 2013, the Arizona Cardinals entered the 2018 offseason needing a new quarterback and a new coach. The results were much worse this time around and at the end of the day it ended up with Steve Wilks being fired after just a single season. 

Wilks, the last coach hired during the 2018 offseason, had a nightmare season in Arizona. The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford to a big deal, drafted Josh Rosen with a first-round pick, added Mike Glennon as a backup, got David Johnson back from injury, had a final hurrah year for Larry Fitzgerald ... and promptly had the worst offense in the NFL by miles. 

The offensive line was a disaster and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy was fired early in the season. Byron Leftwich was better, but as a whole Wilks looked in over his head and the Cardinals looked completely uninspired. 

Wilks entered 2018 with just one year of experience as a coordinator, calling defensive plays for the Panthers in 2017, although he did have two years as an associate head coach for Carolina under Ron Rivera. 

Arizona would go 3-13 this year, with their wins coming against the 49ers (twice) and in a stunner in Green Bay, a victory over the Packers that got Mike McCarthy fired. 

The only times they really looked competitive were in Lambeau and on Sunday against a Seahawks team that was just trying to get a win and get out of town. 

Wilks is a good person and proved to be a good defensive coordinator -- it wouldn't be shocking at all to see him land back with the Panthers next year, assuming Rivera keeps his job, which looks likely at the moment -- but he was fighting an uphill battle when the Cardinals couldn't get things going on offense. 

Not helping matters is his defense finishing as a below average unit and multiple top defensive players being involved in trade rumors. Patrick Peterson, one of the best press-man corners of the last few years, was utilized in Wilks' scheme in a way that didn't suit his talents and the defense suffered for it. Peterson wanted to be dealt, although he ultimately denied that publicly and the Cardinals held onto him at the deadline

Those sort of issues for top players coupled with few wins and a young quarterback taking a beating almost always lead to someone dealing with a hot seat. Given the way in which the Cardinals played this year, it's hardly surprising that Arizona would move on. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories