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Steve Wilks: This is not a rebuild, it’s a retool

Ron Rivera, Steve Wilks

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2015, file photo, Carolina Panthers assistant head coach Steve Wilks watches players warm up during NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. Wilks is the new head football coach of the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals announced Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, that the 48-year-old Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator had agreed to a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)


The Cardinals held a press conference with new head coach Steve Wilks on Tuesday and one of the first questions he faced had to do with the talent on Arizona’s roster.

Wilks said that “this is not a rebuild, this is a retool” when discussing what’s already on hand, although he noted that the team is missing one important piece with quarterback Carson Palmer retiring. Wilks said that he and General Manager Steve Keim have “addressed that issue” as they began working on a plan for the offseason.

Wilks has not hired an offensive coordinator yet and, given Wilks’ background as a defensive coach, that choice will obviously factor into any move they make at quarterback. He said he’s looking for a strong teacher at every spot on his staff and that need would be magnified if the Cardinals draft a quarterback early in the draft this year.

On defense, Wilks said the “personnel is there” while adding that teams need to “evolve” every year to stay competitive. He ran a 4-3 base defense in Carolina, but said he wasn’t locked into any particular scheme because he has worked with various approaches and believes in an adaptable system.

Wilks said they’d like to lock up key members of the coaching staff before the Super Bowl and that interviews for those roles are going on now in Arizona.