Wilks out as Cardinals coach after one year

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Steve Wilks era in Arizona is over.

The Cardinals fired Wilks on Monday, a day after finishing 3-13 in his first season as head coach for their worst record in 18 years.

Wilks, 49, was hired Jan. 22 for his first head-coaching job after one season as an NFL defensive coordinator, but this season has been consistently turbulent.

Both the offense and defense have been among the worst in the NFL, and the Cardinals started the season 0-4.

The Cardinals’ first two wins came against the San Francisco 49ers, who finished 4-12, and they beat the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 2.

Wilks’ demise started with quarterback Sam Bradford’s ineffective play. Signed to a one-year deal worth as much as $20 million, Bradford, who was injured for much of 2017 but signed by Arizona as its starting quarterback about six weeks before the team drafted Josh Rosen 10th overall, struggled mightily during his short tenure as the starter, throwing for just 400 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in three games. Wilks replaced Bradford with Rosen late in the fourth quarter of Week 3.

Wilks then fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy after a Week 7 blowout loss to the Denver Broncos on national TV.

Neither move helped.

The Cardinals lost to the Oakland Raiders, who came into the game at 1-8, in Week 11 to fall to 2-8. It was just the fourth time since 1990 that the Cardinals have started a season with that record.

A week later, Arizona was blown out by the Los Angeles Chargers 45-10 — the second time this season it lost by that score.

Injuries didn’t help Wilks’ case this season. He lost his entire projected offensive line by Week 14.

Throughout the season, players complained about the same mistakes happening week after week and said there were players who didn’t follow coaching, especially on the defensive side of the ball, which was Wilks’ specialty.

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