In the wake of Steve Wilks arrival

Posted by Darren Urban on January 22, 2018 – 3:44 pm

The wait is over, and even with all the talk/speculation about potential assistant coaches hung up working in the playoffs, the Cardinals, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim went with a man whose team was sent home a couple of weeks ago — Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.

This comes with all the caveats, the same ones that show up with every head coach. We won’t know what this means on the field until September at the earliest. Even in the case of Bruce Arians, when the Cards stumbled around for half a season, it took a minute for things to settle in. And as we all know, Wilks’ first year will be dictated in part by a quarterback that we not yet know. Well, we might know of him, we just don’t know if which one will be the Cardinals’ guy.

All that said, in my brief interaction with Wilks today, you can see why he can command a room. Michael Bidwill said recently that in the second round of interviews, usually someone stands out, and I can see why that would have been Wilks. We will see how his staff builds out. But now, the offseason feels like it can officially get started.

— No official word yet on assistants, but there has been some speculation. Jason LaCanfora reported that the Cards will have former Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in for an interview. Bevell interviewed for the Cardinals’ vacant head coaching job in 2013 that went to Arians and is a product of Scottsdale Chaparral High School. Meanwhile, LaCanfora said Panthers offensive line coach Ray Brown (who began a long NFL playing career with three years as a Cardinal) could be coming to Arizona, with Joe Person saying Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb could be as well.

One thing to remember about all the assistant coach talk and speculation is that while some names will accurately land on staff, others won’t, for various reasons. It always plays out like that.

— There are some Cardinals assistants still under contract that Wilks will undoubtedly sort through over the next couple of days. I know many are asking, but there is nothing yet about what might happen with defensive coordinator James Bettcher.

— Speaking of defense, yes, Wilks ran a 4-3 in Carolina. The personnel he has inherited is for a 3-4 base. Something is going to have to change, although do not forget that the vast majority of defensive snaps these days are spent in packages that usually include extra defensive backs. And when the Cards rush in obvious passing situations, they line up with four up front anyway.

— I’m thinking it’s too early to know what the impact of Wilks is on Larry Fitzgerald’s decision. I’d think he’d want to know who the offensive staff will be first.

— The Wilks press conference is Tuesday at noon, and it’ll be streamed live on (Thanks to the Panthers for the pic.)

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62 Responses to “In the wake of Steve Wilks arrival”

  1. By JTDG on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Forget what coaches he can bring, can he somehow bring Kuechly with him. 🙂

    I know , I know, he is under contract, But guys like Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly sure make it easier to run a defense.

    Seriously, here is the line I wanted to here;
    Carolina blitzed on 45 percent of its defensive pass snaps in 2017, second-most in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. The Panthers were third in the NFL with 50 sacks.

    Wilks likes to bring the heat and leave those CBs on an island. Love it. Now, what to do about that other CB spot?
    With the 15th pick, the cards take Denzel Ward ? Or maybe they find the next Luke Kuechly by drafting Tremaine Edmunds to play LB ?

    I think if you are a defensive minded guy, don’t you have to think defense first?

  2. By Coachsearch on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Darren do you think Wilks will try lure Amos Jones back to lead the Card’s special teams? (Maybe adding the assistant head coach tag will be enough to snag him?)

  3. By mitchaz on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    The Cardinals have signed Steve Wilks to a 4 year deal with a fifth year team option.

    The Positives:

    * Fiery emotional leader who holds players to high standards
    * Comes from an excellent defensive system in Carolina
    * Has an aggressive style, loves to dial up pressure
    * Will teach and preach fundamentals
    * Bringing Carolina’s popular LBC Al Holcomb as DC (could UFA DT Star Lotulelei come with him?)
    * Bringing Carolina’s OL coach Ray Brown (could UFA Pro Bowl G Andrew Norwell come with him, if not tagged?)
    * Might be best chance for Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu (contract?) to return to the All Pro Team in 2019
    * The Cardinals have always liked Ron Rivera and now they get his right hand man

    The Questions:

    * Who becomes the OC (Darrell Bevell, John DeFilippo, Mike McCoy have been mentioned as interview candidates)?
    * Will the Cardinals under Wilks want a mobile QB?
    * Will the Cardinals switch their base defense from a 34 to a 43 or hybrid?
    * Who will be the STC and will the special teams become special?
    * How quickly can Wilks get the Cardinals back into playoff contention?
    * Will Wilks and his staff develop the younger players on the team quicker and more frequently?
    * Will the Cardinals’ drafts be more dynamic?
    * Will the Cardinals be able to attract free agents more successfully than in the past couple of years?
    * Is the current roster deeper and more talented that we suspect?

    Wilks is a charismatic, Alpha type of coach who has the gravitas to hold all the players accountable and to keep their eyes on the prize. Not sure why the Giants and Titans so quickly passed on Wilks, but hey, so did the Bears and others on BA. Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim did what they said they would—they were deliberate and thorough. Wilks fits the criteria (experienced, track record of success) that Michael Bidwill articulated to the fans and the media when their search commenced.

  4. By Broken Play Offense on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Oh PLEASE GOD not Bevell. Look how bad the seahags offense has been over the past few years! Nearly all of their best plays are school yard scrambles / miracles. I.E. the play called DIDN’T WORK as planned.

    The seahags would be laughing at us to pick up their reject OC!

    Please Cards I know we can find someone better (DeFilippo or McCoy)

  5. By joe holst on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    hopefully he can recruit Julius Peppers(11 Sacks) to come and play 1 more year.

  6. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    I was hoping for Steve! Respect and accountability is a must have in a coach when coaching any NFL team, but this franchise especially. A team’s primary motivation for playing hard shouldn’t be having their backs against the wall or the feeling of being disrespected. The players on this team have an on-off switch that Steve will need to keep in the “ON” position regardless of team record or what anybody outside the building thinks of them. Accountability at the player level and coaching level is a MUST for this team to succeed. DO YOUR JOB!

  7. By JTDG on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    As of this moment right now, this is how the 4-3 AZ cards defense will look.

    LDE – Josh Mauro (Base) Marcus Golden on passing downs
    RDE – Chandler Jones
    DT – 1 gap – Corey Peters
    DT – 3 gap – Olsen Pierre
    Sam LB – Karlos Dansby
    Mike LB – Hassan Reddick
    Will LB – Deone Bucannon
    CB1 – Pat Peterson
    CB2 – Tramon Williams
    SS – Budda Baker
    FS – Tyrann Mathieu

    When we go to Nickle, Budda goes to the slot, Mathieu goes to Strong and Bethea plays free.

    After the 2017 season officially ends, and FAs begins, Dansby and Williams are FAs and Mathieu is due that huge bonus. So, cards will need a CB2 and Nickle back, along with a Sam LB.

    What I would do;
    Release Mathieu, keep Budda to SS and Bethea at FS. Move Reddick to Will LB and draft Tremaine Edmunds to play Mike, trade into the top of the second round, draft Sam LB Rashann Evans , Resign Williams for the slot, and use some FA money for CB Richard Sherman when he is released by the Hawks. As for Bucannon, use him as trade bait, as he is due 9 million in 2018 and is a FA in 2019.

    If you want to go defense, then do it right. Now, regardless of the QB, you will be in every game.

  8. By creditcard on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Most excellent. Arians was offensive orientated, Wilks defense. I like the fact that they had different backgrounds, so comparisons would not be made by players.

    Both Arians and Wilks do have certain areas that are common: Aggressive, command respect, and both have coached as assistants, in college and learned the ropes and earned promotions.

    Most excellent

  9. By creditcard on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    As a prior defensive coordinator and being on the same team as Cam Newton, I’m certain Wilks knows all the merits of a mobile vs. immobile QB.

    I’m going out on a limb, but I would guess Wilks will be calling Fitz soon about strengths / weaknesses of the Cards offense and discussions about who the WR coach might be and who the OC will be.

  10. By georgiebird on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Don’t like this hire at all. Wilks in way over his head. Michael Bidwill got caught holding the bag here. There is nothing in Wilks bio that makes him the right pick for the job. MB (as the last to fill the HC vacancy) had to pick a minority as I said the other day to preserve the Rooney Rule after it was run roughshod by the Raiders.
    It will take Wilks at least two years to get his feet wet. No match for Seattle, SF and the Rams.
    It was nice for the league (and the Cards organization) that the Cards hired a minority but this is a sad day for the Cardinals from a standpoint of wins and losses.
    The only good results of this hire:
    1) Cards may get back to the 4-3 that Wilks ran in Charlotte
    2) Larry will definitely stay to help Wilks out

  11. By D on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    I am with you JTDG, AZ has two OLB coverage LBs already in Buccannon (depending on his high contract) and Reddick, do they Resign J. Bynes as their MLB, or draft a 1st Round MLB like ALA R. Evans or sign a free agent LB like a S.Spence. They will need more LBs.

    I think even though they have a number of DL players under contract, I now believe they need another difference maker at DT, would be hard to pass up a Vita Vea at DT from WA if he is on the board at 15. He next to Peters, Jones, Pierre would be interesting.

    Hey, A, Norwell, soon to be free agent, we may have a spot for you here in the desert.

  12. By Scott H on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    OK. Well, we have a new head coach. I don’t really know this guy at all, so…no use in pretending I know how this is going to work out. So, all I will say is welcome aboard, coach!

    To tell ya the truth, we don’t really know any more about this guy as a head coach than we do about Shurmur as a head coach or Patricia as a head coach or Defilippo as a head coach, etc because as of right now? This guy has as much head coaching experience in the NFL as any of these other guys – right now. So…..will be some time before we see how everybody does in their new roles.

    All of our recent opinions…..who knows? But one opinion I absolutely DO NOT agree with is that the Cardinals hired a minority HC because they “had to” because of what any other team did. The Cardinals did not owe the NFL any favors here. They weren’t pressured into this. And they certainly didn’t hire a minority head coach to help the NFL out by countering the wrong-doing of any other organizations. Of THAT, I do feel sure.

    Now, we need a QB.

    Speaking of which – and this has NOTHING to do with the Cardinals – but it is going to be REAL interesting to see what the Vikings do at QB. They would seem to have 3 guys who all have a right to claim to be the guy who should be their starter next year. My pick to come out of that race the winner is Sam Bradford. He’s the one with a real pedigree and he has played well there since they traded for him. I think they name Bradford their starter, they keep Keenum in the fold, and Bridgewater is the odd man out.

    And, no, I don’t really want to see Bridgewater here.

    Keenum played very well this year but….man, he really seemed like he came up small yesterday. After his two turnovers started the landslide that never ended, he looked scared and defeated as he sat on the bench watching it unfold. He looked like he knew it was over. Sitting on the bench, looking the way he did…..that is not how I want my QB to react to adversity. I much prefer the fire of a Tom Brady or our very own Jake Plummer back in the day! I want somebody going up and down the sidelines, yelling “Ya gotta believe!” like Jake used to do. Keenum just looked like he wanted to pack it in. Not a good look for an NFL QB.

    Anyway, that’s the Vikings. Back to the Cardinals and the pieces we need to pick up.

  13. By El Gallo on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply


    Wilks is an interesting choice. The defense will be what keeps this team afloat for a while till we know what we got on offense. For the defense excellent move!

    Let’s see if he can indeed get us to the next level.. With the talent of our core players it should be a smoother transition than most teams. Look forward to who he brings on as new recruits and draft selections.

    I believe he will stick to what he knows. If his style of a 4-3 scheme has worked thus far, I imagine he’ll stick with it. He’ll have to bring in a few players that can supplement the team to fit that style. Hear he’s bringing a LB Coach with him.

    At the end, if you can play you can play. If you have talent it doesn’t matter what the schemes are you will show up on the stat sheets.

  14. By Eric G on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    I’m intrigued by Wilks. Hope he switches the Cards to a 4-3 as I’ve long hated the 3-4 defense. I’m hopeful he brings in DeFilippo as the new OC. I hope someone other than Bettcher is the new DC.

    @JTDG, Not with this team, I think everyone knows you have to think QB first if Allen is somehow available (by trade most likely, thinking with the Bears). If Allen is gone, then its gotta be BPA, hopefully Joshua Jackson at CB or Connor Williams at OT.

    This will be an interesting offseason. .

  15. By El Gallo on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply


    Word of Caldwell following Wilks here as the OC, idk.. Really think it’s time for something new in terms of how they will use our core offensive guys like DJ and Larry.

    So now I’m sure Wilks, the FO or a combination will have conversations with Larry and see who they would want to go after as a quality QB and any other supporting cast members in hopes of swaying Larry to play on for one more year.. They’re going to have to entice with some talent for this to happen I believe.

    As for OC and QB-Coach you hope they can bring in a talented guy like JDF. Surround him with an excellent staff and he would be told I’m sure he has the keys to the Offense or else why would he come. He could just stay in Philly, continue winning and wait for an opportunity to take over his own team in the future.

    There’s other offensive minds that are of high caliber I’m sure but who would want to leave what they got going and come be an OC here.. They can help build the offense to their liking is the positive and assist in choosing the QB and QB of the Future. It’ll be interesting

    As for who they bring on, as long as they can spin the ball accurately and win is what matters to me. Our choices are limited just don’t break the bank SK

  16. By barney red on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    I read the Falcons passed on Bevel as their QB coach, even though Quinn coached with him in Seattle.

    Just because he is from AZ is not a reason to hire this terminated castoff as our offensive coordinator. We need somebody who can develop a young QB. Dear lord, not Bevel!

  17. By Richard S on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    I wonder if he’ll take a CB in the first round and maybe go the free agent route for his QB or consider the QB’s already on the roster. I saw one mock draft where a CB was taken in the first round. I wonder what KC would take for Alex Smith since they want to give their new guy the job. I’ve always like Alex Smith.33 isn’t too old. Their new coach is also pretty young and should hopefully last a few years.

  18. By Chris G. on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    I’m excited for what I hope is a successful new era for The Cardinals. Does anyone want to speculate as to why the trigger was pulled before the 2nd interviews with Flores and Defillipo? I’m not saying that I don’t like this hire, I just wasn’t expecting it today. I remember a few weeks back that Wilks was talking about Defillipo as his OC. Could that be the reason we didn’t interview Flip a 2nd time? If that happens, I think we’ve won the lottery. Even if Defillipo gets a head coaching gig in a year, I’ll take it. There just has to be a reason why we just didn’t hire Wilks last week.

  19. By AYRW on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Maybe the new defensive scheme brings more consistency, IDK. I was hoping that they could bring an offensive guy in, apparently Keim and Bidwill like wilks too much. Our defense has been pretty consistent against the run, a 4-3 defense in my mind provides a better run defense, but it’s gonna create a slight drawback in pass defense. Well, we’ll see, the biggest problem is still on the offensive side. As of right now, there shouldn’t be any big player changes on the defensive side……..

  20. By JB on Jan 22, 2018 | Reply

    Been a season ticket holder since 1988, and I am very disappointed today in this hiring decision. Granted, the slate of available HC candidates was very weak this year, due to limited head coaching experience or former HC’s that flopped. So, I understand why Bidwell/Keim were limited by the available options.

    I think everyone (Wilks) deserves a chance, but replacing BA is not going to happen. So, I hope Wilks can get this organization to win. However, I just don’t see the overall football team mgmt ability, well-rounded resume, coaching pedigree, results based output, Super Bowl ring, and previous HC experience that Bidwell/Keim alluded to during interviews. It looks like we had to settle for the best available…which happens sometimes when demand is high and supply is low.

    I sincerely hope Bidwell/Keim know what they are doing. They have demonstrated such good decision making, leadership, and patience the last 5 years. But this decision appears a little rushed and full of “perception mgmt 101” covering up that we were not in the running for the best candidates or who they may have really wanted(i.e. Munchak). Sounds like Keim met Wilks on a beach and was impressed…..Ok. My concern is simple…..we don’t want to go backwards. I am fearful of regression….we don’t want to go back to the old days.

    Hiring a coach who runs a 4-3 defense when we have 3-4 personnel sounds very costly to me from a salary cap perspective. Scheme transitions like this take time and money….and usually results in poor play in the short term and losses. This will make Keim’s job much harder. We started winning in AZ when we shifted to the Pittsburgh 3-4…..which led to the 2 most winningest time-periods & coaches in AZ Cardinal history, namely Whisenhunt & BA era’s. New England uses the 3-4…their success is well-documented. Now we are leaving the 3-4…..scary. I don’t agree with that shift…bad idea gentlemen.

    Offensively, the NFC West is starting to get better and we are regressing….Rams are young with Goff & explosive, 49ers now have a franchise QB with Garropolo, Seattle still has Russell Wilson….and we have no QB’s on our roster. How does that happen with the most important position in the NFL? Keim will have to pay big $$$ to Cousins or trade for Alex Smith to get us a respectable option. Foles, Keenum, Bradford, etc….are not options….beware if Keim goes down this path. Time to draft a young QB at some point so that we have some future at the position. Our O-line is a mess, no good young wr’s or TE’s. So, David Johnson & Larry are going to have to carry us…but that won’t be enough to win consistently.

    I hope Wilks dives in, works hard, and proves me wrong. But not sure I am going to renew my tickets. I forsee 2-3 painful & losing seasons and him getting canned. I am very bummed. The last five years have been so much fun with BA and the previous Superbowl run with Whisenhunt. My guess… we will be right back to where we are now…needing a dynamic HC to lead our football team. I am afraid the Cardinals will try to market and spin this Wilks hiring as positive to sell tickets. I wish they would have scoured the college ranks if they could not find a good coach in the NFL. Or, given our previous HC experience, I would have preferred a Pittsburgh coach.

    The bummer….Larry never gets his Superbowl ring as an AZ Cardinal and Bidwell will hear the phrase he has fought so hard to eliminate and the one I hate most “…same old Cardinals!”

    Bird Gang…welcome to the cellar of the NFC West…sad day.

  21. By Dr. G. on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    ScottH – – yeah me too on really knowing Wilks. Blitzing half the time can be good if he makes it look surprising…hoping he’ll get a good OC to plan and call plays…the previous regime wore me out with the too frequent gambling play calling. ((no nàmes here)) …back to the basics before the fancy stuff..!

    QB looms big now, but think about Bradford and his history of injuries…a big guy, but can’t stay on the field…missed lots of time…maybe not worth a big $$$ gamble. I’ve been thinking Alex Smith would be the best interim guy…only misssed 5 games in the last 5 years…and then still move up to get the QBOTF.…

    Still in the waiting game for this all to make sense…we’ll all be smarter after the draft. FA will be bigger this year to plug about 5 spots…no reasons not to expect a winning season. And as Mitch says, maybe Wilks can inspire some players to achieve their fullest potential…some have been running a bit scared.

    We need to start repeating Wilks – “”Retool, not rebuild””” be well…

  22. By NYCardinals212 on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    I’ve convinced myself that Georgiebird is a brilliant satirist, and then . . . oh look, butterfly

  23. By Dan Nicholson on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Cardinals need Tyrann Mathieu. He is an instinctive, smart player that is very hard to find. He loses 6 – 8 pounds he put on before last season , think he said he added 12, he will be good to go. He had 76 pass defended without a touchdown. If it’s the money some are concerned about, maybe something is worked out their, but he is a “football player “. Both JTDG and I commented about lack of A gap blitzes, look out now.

  24. By mitchaz on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply


    Can you tell us which of BA’s assistant coaches are still under contract?

    Thank you.

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Mitchaz —

    RE: Assistants

    To be honest, there is no reported list. Given that we’ve heard little about most of the defensive coaches, I’d guess that side has a few.

  26. By clssylssy on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    For all the talk about “taking time to find the right guy”, it seems this hire came out of left field and was a little premature, or impulsive. I heard on one of the football talk shows that Keim met Wilks on the beach when he was on vacation, after Wilks, approached him and introduced himself, he knew “he had his guy”…hmmm. Certain things about that story, would be impressiveintriguing but, nonetheless, why not follow through with the interviews already scheduled and stick to “the process”?
    I do like a lot about Steve Wilks. He presents well, is very professional and has good creds for knowing defenses. These days defense is where it’s at and where the strength of this team is, so it makes sense to capitalize on our strengths while in total rebuild mode on offense. IF, we can get a good OC then I think we have a real shot at staying competitive in the West while rebuilding and maybe even establishing an identity of our own, Very importantly, he seems to have the respect and admiration of players and I believe he will take the talent we have and develop it to a previously unimaginable level. I think he will know how to get the best out of talented players who may have lost a little of their passion for the game since Coach Bowles left. I personally love a great defensive team and hope Coach Wilks will have the age and prestiege on his side to be able to counter some of SK’s bad choices.
    Hopefully, we can get DiFillipo for an OC (although I can’t imagine why he would want the job) as a good OC and staff will be critical to rebuilding our offense. I would have liked to get Todd Haley back but suspect SK was a little intimidated by his strong personality. In many ways. assembling a top notch coaching staff, I think is going to be more difficult than getting a HC.
    I don’t expect this ship to get righted overnight as Keim has had too many misses in the draft that we are now paying for, with so many holes to fill, But, I do like that the FO seems to be going a different direction, is trying to grow and putting on their “big boy pants”. I just hope the fanbase will be patient and open to changes (doesn’t sound like many are) and while I would like to have seen one of the younger guys like Flores or LaFleur at least get an interview, this is a pretty bold move for such a conservative organization.Now, the REAL work starts!

  27. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    All —

    RE: Beach

    I am aware of the Rapoport tweet about Keim and Wilks meeting on the beach. That is not why Wilks was hired. I’m guessing there is a reason that didn’t come out until after Wilks was picked as the guy. BTW, Michael Bidwill didn’t meet him on a beach. Just sayin’.

  28. By Scott H on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    JB –

    RE: Replacing BA is not going to happen…

    Well, yeah, it is going to happen because BA is gone. What were we going to do, go on without a head coach??

    I absolutely get ( and totally endorse ) that BA will be a hard act to follow. But we have a new coach and we’re moving on. Good or bad, like it or not, we’re moving on.

    Some aspects of BA will never be replaced. He was unique among the majority of pro football coaches. Pro sports, for that matter. I loved the guy. But Wilks deserves the chance any new guy in town deserves.

  29. By clssylssy on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    I didn’t say anything about Michael Bidwill being on the beach. According to the story, upon meeting Wilks, “Steve Keim met him and knew he had found HIS man” giving the inference that Keim was the driving force with Mr. Bidwill giving his approval.
    Hopefully, Steve Wilks will have more voice in the draft & guide Keim in making better decisions down the road.

  30. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Beach II

    I know you didn’t say anything about Bidwill on the beach.

    But Michael is the one signing off on this. And, also, when I look at the tweet — and that’s all this is, not a story — I’m impressed you got all of that from what Ian wrote.

  31. By D on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Let’s add to the D to make it dominant

    Attempt to move down a few spots in Round 1 to add additional mid pick, draft
    MLB R. Evans ALA

    DE J. Mauro
    DE C. Jones (time to add weight)
    DE M. Golden pass rushing downs backup X. Williams
    DT – – Corey Peters backup R. Nkemdiche
    DT – DaQuan Jones (free agent signing) backup Olsen Pierre
    Sam LB – Deone Bucannon
    Mike LB – J. Bynes (resign) backup E. Evans ALA 1st Rd pick
    Will LB – Hassan Reddick backup S. Wright
    CB1 – Pat Peterson
    CB2 – D. Dennard (free agent signing ) backup B. Williams
    SS – Budda Baker backup A. Bethea
    FS – Tyrann Mathieu

    Release Gunter

    This would be a sold/deep Def with waves of D Lineman to rotate.

  32. By mitchaz on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply


    According to Mike Jurecki, 2 current assistants that could be retained are Asst. WRC Kevin Garver (who is close to Fitz) and LBC Larry Foote.

  33. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Mitchaz —

    RE: Assistants

    I could see that.

  34. By Joe C. on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Seems like folks were complaining about the Cards not pulling the trigger on a coach and now they’re complaining they didn’t interview more candidates. Wilks seems like an up and coming young mind. Anxiously awaiting his OC choice! Difilippi (sp) and Foles are still options. I’d take Alex Smith and any good OC if it was my call.

  35. By clssylssy on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    I actually didn’t see the tweet from Rapaport but rather the “chatter” that goes on by the hosts on the various sports TV talk shows… couldn’t even say for sure which one was relaying the story. It does seem that these “journalist” have their own spin so much is left to interpretation. I am aware of Mr. Bidwill’s official title & that he “signs off” on major decisions.
    I do like this hire & feel it’s time to grow in a different direction and break out of the “Steelers West”niche. Kudos to the organization for having the courage to break out of the comfort zone!

  36. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Chatter

    Well, there’s your first mistake.

  37. By mitchaz on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply


    What about DLC Brentson Buckner?

    Any progress made on the OC job?

  38. By Coach K on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply


    I like the way Wilks carries himself in the interview. I think Bidwell and Keim got the right guy.

    I would have to look at his past associations to get an idea of who he might
    hire as OC. Do you have any names that you heard of Darren that Wilks knows and who he might hire?

    Lastly, I hope Fitz stays one more year.

  39. By JTDG on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Wilks on defensive scheme: I’ve coached both 3-4 and 4-3. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” Doesn’t anticipate major change

    Well that question is answered.

    So, The 12 questions that remain;

    1. Who plays QB?
    2. Who plays CB2?
    3. Who plays the slot CB?
    4. Is Badger released ?
    5. Is Iupati given a chance to redeem the last two years, or is he gone?
    6. Does Veldheer accept his role at RT or is he gone?
    7. Who will play RG and Center
    8. Who will play Receiver ?
    9 With Gresham injured for most if not all the year, who plays TE?
    10. Who is the OC ?
    11. Who is the DC ?
    12. Does Larry come Back ?

    Ahhhh, the offseason has begun. The answers to these questions will determine if the cards win or lose this year. Winning starts now.

  40. By Jo Ball on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    I gotta be honest, Wilks was one of the candidates I knew very little about. He didn’t have all the hype as the others did which isn’t a bad thing at all. I can say that I like what I’m seeing out of him so far. Look at some of the names coming up for his offensive coordinator… he’s looking for the right guy for the job.. not simply hiring whoever he used to work with as some sort of a favor. We may argue about those names but at least its not just whoever he used to work with. The coaches that he IS bringing from the panthers are good coaches. With that being said, please no Bevell. If we can somehow get John DeFillipio for OC, that would set us up nicely.

    On defense, I like to aggressive approach, but if we can NOT send the house on 3rd and forever… that would be great. It’s annoying and unneccesarily risky. Too many times the cards would get cute and get burned.

    Besides that, glad Amos is gone. I feel bad for the Browns but it is what it is. Not our problem anymore. I never thought I would talk so much about Special Teams but glad that I don’t have to anymore.

  41. By JTDG on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Question to fans’

    In 2018, would you like the QB of the cards to be; (all will be available)

    1. Teddy Bridgewater – a first round pick who had promise till he blew out his leg and has been out for 2 years.

    2. Blake Bortles – The number 3 overall pick. Big guy with strong arm that threw for over 4400 yards and 35 TDs in 2015.

    3. Case Keenum – A guy who has bounced around, but together a pretty solid year in 2017.

    4. Sam Bradford – Can’t stay healthy , but has excellent stats when healthy.

    5. Alex Smith – most likely going to Jax, will take a bunch of money to get him.

    6. Trade for Nick Foles – Put up 3 playoffs games with QB rating over 100.

    7. Trade for Deshawn Kizer – Played like a rookie on a cleveland browns team. But has all the tools and can pass and run

    8. Kirk Cousins – Solid QB who will require a big payday.

    9. Trade for AJ Macarren – Has played only a couple games but was impressive

    10. Tyrod Taylor – Took Buffalo to playoffs

    11. Draft Sam Darnald – will need to trade to number 1 pick

    12. Draft Josh Rosen – Same thing

    13 Josh Allen – Need to be in top 5

    14. Draft someone else or sign someone else

  42. By D on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    One positive of the New HC, it’s a Clean break from BA. I am not saying anything bad about BA, but if one of his coaches would have been hired as the HC, this team wouldn’t progressed and could not of moved on.


    MN will keep at least 2 of their QBs, guessing your #1 and #3 for sure. With as many holes as AZ has to fill for the starting 22, I don’t think trading for a QB and giving up draft picks would be the best option. (your #5, #6, #7. #9). A. Smith and K. Cousins will be taking huge chunks of Cap Space for their next teams, could they get your team to the playoffs, Yes with a healthy D. Johnson and a very good defense, I guess it will come down to a GM/owner decision on if they want to write those big checks and give up probably a 2nd Round Draft pick for Smith. (guessing the Redskins will keep Cousins again.)

    No way AZ will be able to move up to draft your #11, 12, #13.

    That leaves from your list (along with a draft pick QB in Rounds 1-3 as the backup) to Bortles, Bradford, Taylor. If M. McCoy gets the OC gig, you could throw in Osweiller too. To me, there isn’t much difference between those 4 QB’s. Doubt that any team will value Bortles as high as Jax. I guess I would take Bradford over the other 2. Shallow pool.

  43. By El Gallo on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    @JTDG “Possible QB”

    – Alex Smith
    – Nick Foles
    With what’s available first inclination is to go with either of these 2 guys. They’ve been through the ringer. Multiple HC’s/OC’s had some losses but still found a way to win. Smith is a great game manager. Foles has proved to be good under pressure recently.

    – Kirk Cousins
    Can find his WRs, athletic and seems to be liked by his teammates. But really expensive.

    – Tyrod Taylor
    Incredibly athletic, mobile, makes some throws, just hope he can sustain his durability.

    – Draftees
    Any of the top three would do. Would cost many top picks for a few years but if SK can make some moves.. you never know. At some point we need a QB of future.

  44. By mal on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply


    get Fitz to talk Palmer into un-retiring for the 2nd time in his career, and spend the draft and FA money on the OL and WR’s

  45. By Halagator on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    clssylssy —–

    Why the hate on for Steve Keim? Every GM in the NFL hits and misses on their draft picks. You should analyze all the other GM’s draft picks over Steve Keim’s tenure as GM. I’d like to see the % of hits vs misses. My hunch would be they are all very similar with only a few GM’s ahead of the others.

    I think you have made a lot of bold statements about his lack of ability as a GM. Time to let it go. Until we start going 4-12 again like the old days I’m good with SK. Mr.Bidwell will show him out the door before the ship sinks to far below the surface.

    To others regarding our new OC…I agree just say no to Bevel. Defilippo I think would be a good choice. Who our future QB is will be greatly dictated on who we hire as OC. I’m interested to see who it will be.

    Hoping for a great offseason

  46. By georgiebird on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    The best QB for the Cards to get their hands on is Andy Dalton. Dalton needs a change of scenery. Dalton better than the other guys mentioned.

  47. By erik on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    RE: Next QB

    I don’t watch a lot of college, but I am all about Baker Mayfield or Mason Rudolph.

    I never saw Rosen or Allen play, but I watched Darnold a tiny bit. My hunch is he will be a bust.

  48. By Joe C. on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG-I forgot about McCarron. I’d say Smith, Foles, McCarron in that order for talent and then figure cost in draft picks and money. McCarron might just be the best pick. I wouldn’t touch any of the Mn QBs. Cousins will cost too much. Not impressed with the rest much. I’d draft someone else as well as one of those three. Maybe a second or third rounder. Of course Foles and McCarron would kick the need way down the road if they work out.

  49. By Scott H on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I can answer #’s 1 thru 10 with one word – No. Honestly. There is no one on this list I see as the future for this team. And if you really don’t think you have a future with any of them, what is the point?

    From #10 down, yes, this is where the conversation needs to begin. The list of QB’s that have started for this team in the last 20 years is long ( and laughable ) enough. We can’t keep going down the road of old veteran QB’s, second-chance kids, and flavors of the month like Foles and Keenum. It is time, for once, to find the right guy in the draft.

    For 2018, which figures to be a total re-set year for the Cardinals – especially if Fitz steps down – here is who I DO say yes to – Drew Stanton. Keep him here for 2018 and draft your future at QB, who we can figure will be starting by opening day 2019. And, hopefully, that is where we step on the escalator, going up.

    New coach, a new approach!

    And if someone puts that on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker, I want in on the profits! You heard that one here first!

  50. By Cali Card fan on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply


    I wouldn’t mind seeing what AJ McCarren has, but would also draft Mason Rudolph if available.

  51. By Big Ken on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Get out of town Betcher! Great news for this team of ours. Icing on the cake if he brings in DeFilippo. Now free agency and the draft.

  52. By clssylssy on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    “Hate” Steve Keim? In all fairness, I think that statement is overblown; I just don’t think he is a good GM, is overrated, and, if you read this column, there are many others who share my view. I guess, you could say, first impressions count, and his first draft in which he wasted a draft pick on Ryan Swoop,who had a history of concussions and injuries in college, and then never even made it into training camp, indicated to me that Keim wasn’t stellar as a scout (didn’t thoroughly do his homework) and didn’t make the best decisions for a GM. Subsequent draft misses and project players, bad contracts (Greshem’s contract was one of the worst in the NFL), not following through with talk of being “aggressive” etc in critical years. ignoring positions of need that would have likely made a difference between losing key offensive players to injury (not fixing the 0line) and being a contender,have led me to hope for a new beginning with a new GM.
    In all fairness, I don’t think SK was qualified for the job and the Cardinals could have done better outside the organization, going with someone with a proven track record for building great rosters, managing the cap, while signing (and keeping) winning talent. SK was Graves understudy, and making SK the GM was more of the same regurgitated Rod Graves than anything fresh, but was probably the comfortable route for the Bidwills.
    I do like this hire of Steve Wilks, I like his professionalism, the way he presents, is articulate and intelligent and has sound, well thought out ideas, not a “seat of your pants” kind of guy who, I think, is going to take us down a new road and give us a shot at continued success. A month ago this team looked destained for the cellar of the NFC West, and now I can see hope for a resurgence of the energy and committment that got us to the SB,
    I think you should check back to some of the posts by JTDG, Mitchaz, and others who have detailed SK’s draft history, etc.before getting in a twist.
    Let’s hope we have that great offseason that we were promised previously but never happened! I have a feeling this new HC is going to light a fire under everybody, which is what we needed.

  53. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    I’ve got to know, how do you give a thumbs down to a list of QBs?

    There is no opinion , just a list of QBs who will be available asking you which one you want. How is thumbs down an answer?

    I get it. There are a few of you who can’t hold a intelligent debate with your fellow fans, so you mark everything thumbs down.

    Here is your conversations;

    Do you want Chocolate or vanilla ice cream? Your answer – Thumbs down
    Is the sky Blue or grey ? Your answer, Thumbs down
    Do you like to hike or ride a bike? Thumbs down.

    Thumbs down is not an answer. SMH.

  54. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply


    Life would be easier if Palmer played one more year.

    D and El Gallo,

    The cost;

    You guys are right. Whether you sign Cousins (which will cost big bucks) or trade up to get one of the big 3 (draft picks) or trade for Smith or one of the others (draft picks and dollars) it will cost to get that QB.

    If we had an offensive line, it would be easier to say trade up, get that QB, and then sign a receiver, but “D”, you are right that we need several spots to fill and not a ton of cap room unless you start releasing people.

    I’m thinking the Browns could take Josh Allen number 1 overall. At pick 4, what would it take to come up and get Darnald? Last year, the chiefs made a big jump to get their QB and it cost them their next years one and a 3. I would give that up, wouldn’t you?

  55. By El Gallo on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply


    – I didn’t get the thumbs down either haha.. It’s a list and states what each QB is known for. People are funny like that I guess.

    – Quality QB’s available are very few. The ones that can win are going to cost the cards some serious cap room if they go that route. Or settle for someone who’s less expensive and very average. But we need a veteran QB and choices are limited.

    I think they can create some cap room by restructuring some of those costly contracts. Offer them money up front as a signing bonus to alleviate some of that financial burden.
    • Gresham’s head scratching contract being one of the primary targets.
    • Badger’s if he stays, MB in the past saying he was a face of franchise so I think so.

    But you’re right in saying that they will be releasing some guys. That should help.

    If they want to win now, it’s going cost (picks & money).
    Unless they find the next coming of Brady in this years 6th Rnd, highly unlikely. Be nice though.

  56. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Joe C,

    It cost the Niners a second round pick for Jimmy G.
    So a second rounder for McCarrens is about right. With the available QBs and the draft full of QBs, you might be able to get him for a 3 and 5.

    Scott H,

    Agree it seems time to find OUR Franchise guy. Can’t fault you for feeling that way.


    It sucks the Rudolph got hurt, I was looking forward to him playing in the senior bowl. But you can see Baker Mayfield, Luke Falk and Josh Allen. This game has some really good players in it also.

    *On a side note, Last year, I was a huge fan of Mike Williams and JuJu Smith Schuster at WR.
    This year, I have my eye on the North team’s Michael Gallup. A 6’1″ 200 pound guy who can win at all levels. I also like Tre’Quan Smith, James Washington, and DJ Chark on the South Team.

  57. By Dr. G. on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    jtdg..fwiw, the thumbs thing is random opinion that will not be persuaded or affected by facts.

    Now, for the QBs ~ most on your list have some warts; some have not had opportunity to show us their worth; and some have had “”serious”” injuries that may affect future ability and/or courage, and some are costly.

    I’ve been getting some thumbs on Alex Smith as a stop gap…IMO… he is the best on the list ((all things considered)) The $$$ may be worth it. ((No rebuilding years!))

    And as for #2 maybe #3 until we can evaluate more, McCarran can be a good game mgr…we just have not seen if he has more to offer.

    Then definitely the draft to maybe get the diamond in the rough…always a dice roll.

    Let’s not forget that Gabbert may be here as a back up as well. Be well

  58. By Dr. G. on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    If this name keeps up in the blog, I’m correcting my spelling to read ((A. J. McCarron)) just fyi…

  59. By Big Ken on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Thumbs up or down? Just be glad you don’t get ‘no thumbs’. JTDG and others please keep on posting for facts, interest and shear entertainment. It sounds like Wilks and SK will work together in assembling a team.

  60. By KC on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    I live in KC and watch a lot of chiefs games. Alex Smith has a lot left in the tank and would be a solid veteran QB to guide the team for the next 3-4 yrs. we could compete with smith, healthy Johnson and this strong defense. Need to rebuild the receiver group.

  61. By Scott H on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Dude, you would get thumbs downs around here for saying you love the Pope. The Pope himself would probably get thumbs downs if he posted here.

    It’s ridiculous. We know this. Move on and keep doing your thing.

    And we know the Pope is a Cardinals fan ( because he surrounds himself with – what else? – Cardinals! )

  62. By Dan Nicholson on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG- Re: QB Choice. I have liked Alex Smith as QB since Carson retired. As I stated before he is smart, athletic, very hard to sack because of that, does not turn it over much and is most important accurate. I have got to post also that a big trade up in draft is possible because I think Keim really likes Darnold& Mayfield. I think he really wants to get the monkey off his back of chasing a QB of the future. Good call on polling people, it’s interesting

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