Cardinals coach Steve Wilks has told his staff that he expects to be fired, NFL Network reported Monday morning, adding that he hadn’t officially heard that he is out after only one season.
Sources: #AZCardinals coach Steve Wilks has told his staff during a meeting that he will not be the coach going forward. He has not yet heard it official from owner Michael Bidwill. But that is what he has told his staff.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 31, 2018
He would become the first one-and-done coach since the 49ers fired Chip Kelly in 2016 and the fourth African American coach fired since Sunday, joining the Jets’ Todd Bowles, Broncos’ Vance Joseph and reportedly Bengals’ Marvin Lewis.
The Cardinals capped a 3-13 season Sunday with a loss to the Seahawks that leaves them with the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
However, it appears Wilks, 49, won’t be around for the choice.
A defensive assistant before coming to Arizona, his Cardinals team ranked last in a variety of offensive categories with rookie Josh Rosen at the helm: points per game (14.1), total yardage per game (241.6), passing yardage per game (157.7) and rushing yardage per game (83.9).
What may have sealed Wilks’ fate, however, wasn’t the offense alone. The Cardinals’ defense also gave up almost twice as much rushing yardage in 2018 as it did the season before and allowed 25 rushing TDs to 12 in 2017.
Speculation is that Wilks could return to Panthers coach Ron Rivera’s staff as coordinator after Rivera juggled his defensive staff during a disappointing 2018 season.