Fired Cardinals coach Wilks joins Browns as defensive coordinator

Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks leaves the field after a Dec. 23 game against the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. [AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin]

By Tom Withers
The Associated Press

CLEVELAND — New Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens hired former Cardinals coach Steve Wilks as his defensive coordinator Monday.

The 49-year-old Wilks was recently fired after going 3-13 in one season with the Cardinals. But he’s got a deep defensive background, spending 12 years as a secondary coach before becoming Carolina’s coordinator in 2017.

He succeeds Gregg Williams, who was not retained by Kitchens.

“When I see a guy that has a tremendous football acumen, is very diverse in his ability to use personnel, then why wait?” Kitchens said of hiring Wilks. “It is everything that I want, so we didn’t wait. And I like guys that strive to be great and I think that Steve does that. I also like guys that strive to have an environment of learning and strive to have an environment of listening, being together and being a part of a team.”

Kitchens also added former Tampa Bay coordinator Todd Monken as offensive coordinator, Stump Mitchell (running backs), James Campen (offensive line), Ryan Lindley (quarterbacks), Jody Wright (special assistant) and Jim Dray and Tyler Tettleton (offensive quality control) to his staff.

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