Steve Wilks fired by Cardinals after one year with team

Steve Wilks is out after one season.

The Arizona head coach was fired by the Cardinals on Monday, the team announced. Wilks told his staff during a meeting that he expected to be fired before the Cardinals later made it official, a source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

During a news conference Monday, team owner Michael Bidwill said he has "a lot of confidence" in general manager Steve Keim, who echoed his boss's sentiments.

"I have confidence in myself to get this turned around," Keim said.

The expectation that Wilks would be one-and-done escalated in recent weeks as the Cardinals fell to 3-13.

Arizona owned the worst offense in the NFL in Wilks' first season, ranking last in points per game (14.1), total yards per game (241.6), passing yards per game (157.7) and rushing yards per game (83.9). Wilks fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy midway through the season, but still, the struggles remained. Perhaps one of the coach's biggest mistakes was hiring a retread like McCoy in the first place.

If it was only the offense that took a step back with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen going through growing pains, perhaps a dismal first season could have been overlooked. However, Wilks' defense also cratered. The Cards' run defense went from allowing 89.6 yards per game and 12 rush TDs in 2017 to 154.9 yards per tilt and 25 rush TDs in 2018.

Worse still were the reports from Arizona that players didn't play hard for Wilks and appeared to give up when the going got tough. If a head coach can't motivate players, his goose is cooked.

Wilks becomes the first one-and-done coach since Chip Kelly was fired by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.

The 49-year-old Wilks should not find trouble landing a defensive coordinator gig should he so choose. Perhaps a return to Carolina, where Ron Rivera fired his DC this season, could be in order.

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