Report: Cardinals plan to fire head coach Steve Wilks; Larry Fitzgerald expresses support for Wilks

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the news Sunday
Posted at 10:26 AM, Dec 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-23 20:00:25-05

The Arizona Cardinals are not planning on retaining head coach Steve Wilks after the 2018 season, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning.

The Cardinals hired Wilks after five-year head coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement at the end of last season. But following Sunday's 31-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Cardinals are just 3-12 in Wilks' first season at the helm.

The 49-year-old Wilks served as defensive backs coach and later as defensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers before being hired by the Cardinals for his first NFL head-coaching job.

"One source said he could not envision a scenario in which the Cardinals would bring back Wilks, who was just hired in January -- a sign of how quickly owners get unhappy and impatient," Schefter wrote.

After Sunday's game, Wilks said he hasn't talked to Cardinals president Michael Bidwill about his job status.

"As I told you guys before, I really don’t listen to the outside noise," he said. "My head is down, I’m working, trying to do everything I can to win a football game and get these players and coaches moving in the right direction.

"I will say this: I walked into this organization with integrity, and whenever that time comes, I’m going to walk out with integrity. And hopefully that’s 12-15 years from now."

Wilks was asked whether NFL head coaches should get more than one year to create their own culture within an organization.

"That’s not my call. All these owners, they own their team, they can do what they want to do," he said. "Again, I’m just working hard, doing my job. I’m the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals right now.

"I’m very spiritual-based. Hey, I’m working, and whatever happens, God is going to put me wherever he wants me to be."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Larry Fitzgerald, who has yet to decide whether he will play next season, expressed support for Wilks in a text message Sunday. "We would all want him back," Fitzgerald texted to Rapoport.

After Sunday's loss, Wilks expressed appreciation for Fitzgerald's support.

"It means a lot, just for him to say that. It means a lot to me," he said.

Also after the game, Fitzgerald reiterated his support for Wilks.

"Obviously we all understand it’s a results business. But that doesn’t change the human element for me," he said. "He treats us well. I just wish we could play better for him."

Fitzgerald said he's never talked to the Cardinals front office about head coaching decisions.

"That’s not my place. I don’t stick my nose in places they don’t belong," he said. "That’s not something players do, really."

The Cardinals' final game of the regular season will take place in Seattle vs. the Seahawks on Sunday, Dec. 30.

SEE ALSO: Could Todd Bowles return to Arizona as head coach?