Published: Tue, January 23, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as head coach

Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as head coach

Eric Washington, who has coached Carolina's defensive line since 2011, has been promoted to defensive coordinator, the Carolina Panthers announced Monday. And to say Wilks is qualified would be an understatement.

Before that, he was the secondary coach for the San Diego Chargers for three seasons and the defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears for three years.

Wilks was considered a hot coaching candidate coming into the process, but sort of drifted to the side as Patriots coordinators Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels got most of the heat in coaching searches.

With a solid foundation and plenty of young talent, the Cardinals could become one of the best defensive teams in the National Football League under Wilks. That has to be music to the ears of what is an already talented Cardinals defense, led by Mr. Peterson himself.

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Norman tweeted to Peterson that the Cardinals cornerback was about to go "supersonic" with Wilks as his coach.

Wilks replaced McDermott as Carolina defensive coordinator when McDermott was named head coach at Buffalo a year ago. He also coached for 11 years at the collegiate level, including a one-year stint as head coach at Savannah State in 1999, compiling a 5-6 record.

Washington is widely regarded as the league's best defensive line coach. I've been pretty adamant about him.

The Panthers gave up the seventh fewest yards in 2017 and were T-10 in points allowed at 20.4 per contest. It's going to be a tough one. Wilks' first task probably is to hire an offensive coordinator, a move that's particularly important because the retirement of Carson Palmer left Arizona with no quarterback.

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