Coach Steve Wilks: "We found a way to get one today.”

Cardinals Head Coach Steve Wilks Postgame Press Conference – October 7, 2018, San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Opening comments:

“As I told those guys, I couldn’t be prouder of a group of men than I am of those players and coaches in there. 0-4 was not what we expected early on, but we owned it and we found ways to continue to get better each and every week. There’s no such thing as an ugly win in the National Football League, particularly when it’s your first one. So, a lot of good things. The opening play for the offense, touchdown. Defense created five takeaways and we scored on defense which was outstanding. A lot to improve on, which we will watch the tape tomorrow and get better as we press and move forward. With that, I’ll take your questions.”

Did you feel like, after that first pass, that you guys were on your way offensively? How frustrating was it that it slowed down after that?

“You felt a lot of confidence with that first pass, particularly with the score. Then again, it’s opportunities right there. A couple of drops, and [Arizona Cardinals QB] Josh [Rosen] will tell you as well, a couple of overthrows there. So again, self-inflected, some of the things that we’re doing.”

How good of a game did Arizona Cardinals DE Chandler Jones play today for you?

“He played a great game, you know, created a lot of negative plays in the run game. He came up with some huge plays right there for a sack, fumble recovery. I can’t speak enough of what he did today. Hell of a job by him.”

What can you say about your defense as a whole? They were on the field for two thirds of the game.

“One of the things I talk about all the time is it’s not so much offense, defense we have to create our own opportunities. The same thing with the defense. We have to find a way to get off of the field on third down. You look at it right now, I think they were 10 for 17. That’s not good enough. So, you talk about being on there, I think it was 92 plays, we have to find ways to get off of the field.”

You’ve been talking about the turnovers, preaching about them and talking about them and you finally got them.

“You know, you brought that up and I credit you for that. Yeah so, we emphasize, we talk about it, we work on it all of the time and we found a way to get something today which was really the difference in the ball game.”

There were some questions about Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Kirk playing at outside receiver coming out. That big play, what does that say about him? His speed, his ability to make a big play downfield.

“I don’t understand the question mark that was over him coming out of the draft talking about his speed. You saw that today. He’s an inside guy, outside guy. We do a good job of moving him around and trying to get him in position to be successful.”

When did you guys decide you were going to take a shot in the first place? When during the week did that happen?

“It was something that we had talked about earlier. Again, just trying to be aggressive and stay ahead of the sticks. We’re very fortunate that we made the play.”

What does it say about Josh how he was up and down all day but yet fought through it?

“Again, very confident in his ability. I love how he hits the reset button and you have to do that at that position. Again, some throws that he would like to have back, but there were some that he did an outstanding job putting on the receivers.”

Do you think some of that is adrenaline when he’s overthrowing or is it something mechanically?

“It’s hard to say. That would definitely be a good question for him. But I think, again, trying to get into a rhythm, not really trying to press things, not overthinking it. I think he’ll be fine moving forward.”

Getting the first win, is that relief but then you have so much still you have to work on on both sides?

“I think every week, regardless of if we’re sitting here 2-2 and got through this one today, there’s always something you can work on as far as making corrections and trying to get better. That’s our mindset. Even being 0-4, that’s what we’ll continue to do each and every week. So, we’re going to watch this tape tomorrow, we’re going to make the corrections, we’re going to get the guys in there and watch it and move forward.”

Does it feel special to you, getting that first win?

“Definitely, yes it does. Do you know what I’ve been dealing with the last four weeks? It feels great. Hopefully this is just the first of many moving forward and again, I’m just so proud of the guys in that locker room. Because, you know, they never wavered. They circled the wagon, stayed together, didn’t blame and we found a way to get one today.”

How tough has it been, those first four weeks?

“It’s been tough because, again, the expectation for this team wasn’t to be 0-4. We have a lot of talent, a great coaching staff. But, it’s a process when you come in and you really change the culture and get things right in all three phases. We’ve seen that over the last couple of weeks. So, I think we’re treading in the right direction. I think Josh brings a lot to the table offensively in what we’re doing. Special teams are still clicking. Defense, we have a lot of things to clean up on that side of the ball.”

Do you know how Arizona Cardinals OL Andre Smith is doing?

“I have no indications right now of any injury reports from today.”

When the defense forces five turnovers, who gets the game ball or did you get the game ball for your first win?

“I got the game ball today, but I’m sure once we evaluate and watch the tape, there’s going to be a lot of game balls on the defensive side, particularly Chandler Jones, as you mentioned.”

What do you do with your game ball, first victory?

“Well I’m definitely going to put it up in my office, for sure.”

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