Cardinals’ Wilks says offensive woes puts jobs in jeopardy
The Arizona Cardinals are 1-5 and struggling on offense to the point in which first-year coach Steve Wilks talked about job security during his Monday press conference.
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is drawing plenty of criticism following the Cardinals’ 27-17 loss at Minnesota last week. The Cardinals have scored only 72 points in the six games, an average of only 16 points a game.
“I would say all of our jobs are in jeopardy, including mine, if we don’t win,” Wilks said.
The Cardinals, who host Denver on Thursday in a short week, are dedicated to developing rookie quarterback Josh Rosen into their long-term quarterback. The move is sacrificing some potential outcomes this season for Arizona, which ranks last in the NFL in yards per game, rushing yards, time of possession and third-down conversions.
The struggles are occurring despite Arizona having talented running back David Johnson and legendary Larry Fitzgerald.
“When things aren’t going right, I think everyone needs to not change the game plan but also not buckle down and be completely stubborn,” Rosen said. “You have to put your heads together and solve the problem.”
Rosen performed well in a hurry-up no-huddle offense against Minnesota last week. The Cardinals might show more of that execution, but Rosen indicated that the Vikings’ defense was not as aggressive with a three-possession lead in the second half.
“We can’t look too far into it,” he said of the no-huddle execution fixing the offense’s problems.
With a short week, Wilks said the Cardinals could continue the no-huddle offense, so Rosen can continue to “process things and play fast.”
“We have to do everything we can right now to get this offense going in the right direction,” Wilks added.
Arizona went 0-for-10 on third-down conversions against Minnesota and Johnson continues to struggle by rushing for only 55 yards on 18 carries. He also lost a fumble against the Vikings.
The offensive line has not played as well and is suffering through injuries to starting guards Justin Pugh (hand) and Mike Iupati (back). Both are doubtful to play against Denver.
Rosen, a rookie first-round pick out of UCLA, said he shoulders some of the blame for the Cardinals’ offensive woes. They have also yet to score in the third quarter this season, a problem Wilks has said he can’t explain other than having “to come out of the locker room with more determination.”
Rosen is taking a careful approach in turning things around.
“For the most part, the way you do that is you don’t reach and push outside of what you can control,” he said. “The second you try to play ‘hero ball,’ it ends up biting you in the butt.”
–RG Justin Pugh might have broken his left hand in the game at Minnesota, Wilks said. Pugh is listed as day-to-day but he is likely out against Denver with it being a short week.
–LG Mike Iupati is also listed as day-to-day with his back injury. Wilks indicated that the team might need more time than by Thursday’s kickoff to determine Iupati’s playing status.
— RG Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) is also out with an injury and is questionable for Thursday’s game. Vujnovich was one of the replacements for Pugh on Sunday.
— C Coleman Shelton was signed to the practice squad with WR Bernard Reedy cut to make room for him. Shelton was on the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad before getting cut last week.
–RB Brandon Wilds, who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars last week when they decided to sign free agent Jamaal Charles, was signed by the Cardinals to the practice squad. The team cut RB Jalen Simmons to make room for Wilds, who likely will not be activated for Thursday’s game against Denver unless RB David Johnson is injured.