Cardinals’ Wilks keeps the faith into final game

Arizona Cardinals coach Steve Wilks has seen his team struggle to a 3-12 record in his first season as an NFL head coach.Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Xchange

Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks may the final one for Steve Wilks as Arizona Cardinals’ head coach after just one season at the helm.

The Cardinals are 3-12 and have lost three in a row after Sunday’s 31-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and during his Monday meeting with reporters Wilks said he planned to finish his work early so he could spend Christmas Eve with his wife and children.

“It’s going to be good to be around family and spend some quality time with them,” Wilks said.

He has relied on family and faith through this challenging season.

“That’s just who I am,” he said. “It’s not just this season. It’s throughout my whole life.”

That has helped him get through the difficult questioning from the media this season.

“I always tell the coaches this: There’s always a bubble over players’ heads and as you’re sitting there trying to talk to them, if you really understood what that bubble was saying back, you’d be amazed,” Wilks said. “There’s a bubble over my head and if you really knew exactly how I felt inside and what it was saying, you would question my faith at times.

“My mom’s in town, so I don’t want to say those words.”

He noted that the Cardinals have a young franchise quarterback to build on in rookie Josh Rosen.

“I think he can be great. That’s the reason why we felt the need to move up and take him,” Wilks said. “We thought he was the best one in the draft and I still feel that same way. He’s a rookie, he’s going to have these growing pains, and as coaches we’ve just got to continue to work with him and put him in position to be successful.”

Neither team president Michael Bidwill nor general manager Steve Keim has given a public indication that Wilks’ firing is imminent. It has just been widely assumed that he will be dismissed.

Wilks said on Sunday that he is trying to ignore the outside noise.

“My head is down,” he said, according to the Arizona Republic. “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 the organization with integrity and when that time comes, I will walk out with integrity.

“Hopefully, that’s 12, 15 years from now.”

–QB Josh Rosen completed 12 of 23 passes (52.2 percent) in the 31-9 loss to the Rams on Sunday. It was the 10th time this season he failed to complete at least 60 percent of his passes. He did not throw any interceptions, though. Rosen was the team’s leading rusher in the game with 49 yards on the ground.

–RB David Johnson ran for 35 yards on 10 carries Sunday, the third straight game he was held under 60 yards rushing and the fifth straight game he has averaged no more than 3.7 yards per carry.

—QB Mike Glennon got significant playing time for the second straight week on Sunday. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 63 yards against the Rams after completing 10 of 14 passes for 111 yards and a score the previous week against Atlanta.

–WR Trent Sherfield had a season-high six receptions on Sunday for 62 yards. He had 17 catches for 187 yards for the season.

–WR Larry Fitzgerald has 698 receiving yards this season, and if does not get at least 82 yards in the final game he will have the lowest single-season receiving-yardage total in his 15-year career.