Wilks, Bidwill wait on Fitz like everyone else

Posted by Darren Urban on January 23, 2018 – 2:44 pm

New coach Steve Wilks said Tuesday he had a conversation with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, but the wide receiver has not indicated to him one way or the other if Fitzgerald was planning on playing in 2018. Wilks made it clear it was important to him — and the Cardinals — that Fitz return.

“We would definitely love to have him back,” Wilks said. “He’s a major part of our success, past, present and future. First ballot Hall of Famer, so we’d definitely want him back.”

Team president Michael Bidwill, who has said before he had no interest in speculating — or even speculating on the speculation — was asked what his gut told him about what Fitzgerald might do.

“My gut says everyone needs to relax, let Fitz go through his process, and give him a few weeks to make his decision,” Bidwill said. “He’ll let us know.”

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19 Responses to “Wilks, Bidwill wait on Fitz like everyone else”

  1. By mitchaz on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    The Cardinals may not have a QB or even an OC right now, but what they do have in newly appointed HC Steve Wilks is the kind of leader and communicator who can make the Cardinals stand out as a flock of tough, tenacious, high flying birds.

    Charley Casserly of NFLN put the hiring of Steve Wilks in the perfect perspective. Casserly alluded to the Rooney’s philosophy for hiring head coaches: insert a strong leader and communicator at the top. It doesn’t matter which side of the ball the coach specializes in. Find a head coach who can galvanize and motivate a team of 53 men.

    Casserly also made an excellent point that while some pundits and fans question how prepared Wilks is to be a head coach if he’s only been a coordinator for 1 year, he said “Wilks would have been a coordinator for years now had the Panthers and the Chargers not blocked other teams from hiring him.”

    Wilks was the assistant head coach at Carolina for the past six years. Whenever Ron Rivera had to miss some practices for personal reasons, he wanted Wilks to run the team. As an assistant head coach Wilks has the best possible training to become a head coach. In Carolina, in that role, he stood out. Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim said that unsolicited endorsements from Wilks’ players, past and present, came pouring in. And the common theme was that Wilks not only helped them grow into standouts as players, he invested in them as human beings and he treated them like men.

    One of the most resounding things Wilks said at his press conference was that he wants all of his coaches to adopt his three pillars of trust, commitment and accountability—and—in that regard—he wants all of his coaches to teach fundamentals, demand fundamentals and—get this—“find ways to relate to different personalities.”

    After all, Wilks said, “it is the coaches’ top priority to develop the players.”

    Not sure if this was an answer to questions posed during his interviews by Bidwill and Keim—one can just imagine that MB&SK have been concerned about the development of the young players on the roster—or whether Wilks had the perspicacity and foresight in doing his research on the Cardinals to recognize that player development is one of the team’s main improvement areas—either way, Wilks manifested a core understanding of the kind of coaching it is going to take to maximize the talent on the roster.

    Wilks was straightfoward in acknowledging what he called “the elephant in the room” (aka the QB situation). He said that this was discussed at length with MB&SK and that there is an “aggressive plan” in place (via free agency, trade and the draft) so that the Cardinals can “put a product on the field that can compete for a championship.”

    On Arizona Sports radio an hour later when asked what the greatest moment of his football coaching career is, Wilks didn’t even have to think about it. He said.”Today is the greatest moment of my career.” He said, “I have always dreamed of being a head coach in the NFL.” Furthermore, when asked about the time he first sensed that he was destined to coach, Wilks replied that he has always had a feeling that “it’s hard to blend in when you are born to stand out.”

    Perfectly said from a newborn cardinal…donning brilliant red feathers, eye blacks and yellow beak… cardinals do find it hard and even impossible to blend in, because they are born to stand out, especially in the desert.

    Welcome to Arizona and the nest of the Birdgang, Steve Wilks and family!

  2. By jacob on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Do u have any clue to if the Cardinals with draft a QB or sign a free agent QB?
    Or if you don’t know right now do you think you and or any of the azcardinals could make a future video about a QB they might look at or get?

  3. By drblogubc on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks Mitchaz for your usual insightful post. Posittive, relevant, encouraging, forward looking!

  4. By georgiebird on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    Keep hearing that Arians was the most successful coach ever for the Cards. I think NOT. And neither was Coryell. The best Cards coach ever ?- The Whiz. I didn’t like Whiz and am convinced that Warner carried the team on his back. BUT when a lowly team like the Cardinals gets into the Super Bowl, then the HC at the time is the most successful HC in team history. I know what people are trying to say but getting to the SB trumps all other accomplishments except winning the SB.
    Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning are getting into the HOF for that very reason. And Arians also left the team in a lurch with regards to the most important position on the field-QB. But Arians was a master motivator.

  5. By creditcard on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    I like him, he’s prepared — if you have an experienced HC, that means that HC had to have been fired from a previous team (for good or bad reasons).

    I like that he is not coming in and saying “I know everything, do it my way etc…” Instead he is just hammering in his beliefs on how successful organizations conduct themselves.

    Good hire, a family man, upright, and confident.

    Both Steve Kiem and Michael Bidwill only want a top-notch product. Every employee in the Cards organization wants a winning program. MB and SK hired, what they think will result in the best product on the field for us fans.

    MB and SK did a good job — I think Wilks will surprise all of us in positive way. That said, every 1st year coach in the NFL seems to have a rough start — its competitive folks. I think ASA Wilks gets his footing — watch out NFL

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

    Well, Keim and Bidwill think they have found their “”diamond among the stones.””

    I was impressed with Wilks’ introductory presser though it seems he doesn’t have much experience before 40 people grilling him…speaking from the heart. He comes across as a football guy who can bring some intensity and accountability, esp on defense. ((Don the spikes;; let’s get busy!))

    Beneath his somewhat tough exterior, it was obvious he was ecstatic beyond belief to be here. Now we don’t really need “”smooth;”” we need a “”kick ass”” coach who will handle the rough stuff in the locker room, not in the media. I have a feeling that the players will reap with him what they sow.

    And Darren, did we understand that he said multiple times that his staff will be assembled prior to the Super Bowl? Does that mean there is no interest for any Pats or Eagles coaches?

    There is no way this cannot be the beginnings of optimism and better results.

  7. By creditcard on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    On a different note ….

    Josh Allen is posted as Daniel Jeremiah’s 14th ranked prospect. Darnell, and Rosen are listed higher. It’s early, but Allen just might fall between 10-15 in this year’s draft. As for a 2nd round I like Isiah Wynn from Georgia (guard), and Martinas Rankin from (OT) from Miss. State.

    We obviously need a QB and good linemen. (BTW, good hire in Brown as O-line coach).

  8. By Richard S on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    They need Larry. Who has hands like Larry? When they had Q and Larry they had some really good hands.

  9. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    I liked what Wilks had to say during his press conference with exception of his statement to MB and SK that, “You guys made the right decision.” It immediately brought me back to Buddy Ryan’s introductory press conference – which I remember watching live on ESPN – where he said, if I remember correctly, “You’ve got a winner in town!” That hire didn’t work out so well for the Cards. I think coach Wilks will be much better than Ryan was, but I’d never jinx myself like that with the whole NFL community watching.

    That was a long time ago, and I may be totally wrong about Ryan’s quote, but I remember him saying that about one of the teams he was HC for and I think it was Arizona. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  10. By Fmr USAF Pilot on Jan 23, 2018 | Reply

    The Cards could have hired Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh (LOL), Bellichick, or Saban as HC and it wouldn’t have made any difference in the opportunities for the Cards to even reach the Super Bowl because of Keim’s failure to draft impact players (see CB #2, OL and WRs among others).

    Lots of luck, Wilks.

  11. By Dan Nicholson on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    With the big emphasis last 3 years by fans and media about how bad special teams have been it was surprising no one asked who will coach that unit and improving it during press conference. Very impressive and impressed with the press conference.

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

    @mitchaz: Well said.

    To Larry Legend, One more year! Come back Larry!

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

    Reports have James Bettcher taking over NY Giants DC position.

    Taking over DC for us in 2015 he’s had success. Our defense remained a top 10 in his 3yrs. But you wonder why he couldn’t get guys like #90 to be successful or help bring in or develop a quality CB2 since being promoted.. Nevertheless, I thank him and his staff. Will definitely keep an eye out for him and his progress.

    Overall a good guy. While driving around Chandler he and his wife helped save a young kid trapped under a vehicle in early 2017.
    Good on him, wish him and his family the best.

  14. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Love this picture,

    They could be teammates as soon as Sherman is released .

    If Wilks wants to blitz 45% of the time, there will be a lot of one on ones. To have 3 CBs like Peterson, Sherman and T. Williams, would fit so nicely with his philosophy.

    Look at Jax with Ramsey and Bouye or Patriots with Butler and Gilmore. Life is better with 2 CBs and it gets even better if you have someone to cover the slot.
    And no, Mathieu can not cover the slot anymore. Two years is proof enough.

  15. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    BTW, has anyone noticed Shaquam Griffin.

    I don’t know how I missed this story, it is amazing. The twin brother of Shaquil Griffin, CB of the Hawks, has only one hand, yet should be drafted in the NFL.

    He ended his college career with 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss. Which all came in two years. Now he is at the Senior Bowl and poised to get drafted in the 2018 draft.

    At 6’1″ and 223, he won’t make it as an edge rusher, but he could be a Will LB.
    After hearing him in an interview, I am rooting for this guy.

  16. By Coach K on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    I think Fitz will be back to take care of unfinished business and depending on what the Cardinals do at QB, perhaps one last chance for the playoffs. We would have to get either Smith or Foles to make that a possibility. No way a rookie QB is going to get us there next year.

    I hope Keim will focus on at least two offensive line top draft picks in addition to a young QB to develop. There are a few young QB’s that have potential who are not in the top 5. Rudolph, White, and Ferguson are in the second group behind the top four. All have the size and potential.

  17. By D on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Fans need to lower their expectations and realize it’s going to take some time for this team to be consistently winning.

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  2. Jan 23, 2018: Cardinals news: Michael Bidwill not worried about Larry Fitzgerald retiring
  3. Jan 24, 2018: Bird Droppings: Arizona Cardinals introduce Steve Wilks to the fans FEATURED CARDINALS ARTICLE | Cardinals - NFC Wild West | Arizona Cardinals Blog

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