Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Marco Wilson, Cardinals Defense Readies For Niners' Scheme

Unit will need solid games from secondary

Cornerback Marco Wilson after making a play against the 49ers in 2022 when the Cardinals "hosted" a game in Mexico.
Cornerback Marco Wilson after making a play against the 49ers in 2022 when the Cardinals "hosted" a game in Mexico.

Marco Wilson walked out of State Farm Stadium against the Giants Week 2 disappointed. It wasn't just the loss, but the knowledge he needed to play better.

He did play better against the Cowboys, and his team won.

Yet when the cornerback watched the video after, he was unsatisfied.

"Even on good plays, I'm pretty critical of myself," Wilson said. "There's definitely some more plays I could go out there and make, but that was only game three. I'm excited to see how the rest of the season is going to go because I'm only going to get better."

The most important game on the schedule is always going to be the one for which the team is actively preparing. In this case, the Cardinals have their eyes set on the 49ers and their high-powered offense that features Christian McCaffery, Deebo Samuel, and Brock Purdy.

It's a scheme that coach Jonathan Gannon described as 'the best in the world," and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis has studied for a while.

"This offense is really good, and I'd say probably for the past five years I've looked at this offense every offseason," Rallis said. "Regardless if they're on the schedule or not. Anything that they're running, and it starts working, you're going to see it around the league anyways."

The offense has been unstoppable, scoring at least 30 points in six consecutive regular-season games dating back to Week 16 in 2022. Gannon gave Kyle Shanahan his flowers for coaching up Purdy and the ability to generate big plays.

"You can tell Kyle knows how to coach the quarterback, like he doesn't put the ball at harms risk," Gannon said. "They got guys on every group that are really, really good with the ball in their hands. The schematics of how they play the game, they give guys the ball in space a lot of times.

"We've got our work cut out for us."

The video shows that McCaffery is a good ballplayer, earning NFC Offensive Player of the Month, and that Samuel's versatility makes him dangerous. But the Cardinals defensive back room is confident in their ability to shock for the second week in a row.

"When I think about it, just because you're going against the best, I'm a part of the best now (in the NFL), so I put my resume out there every time I step on the field," rookie cornerback Kei'Trel Clark said. "I might be going against a guy, but I might just look at him as just a guy. I'm not looking at him like he's some superstar."

Clark still has major respect for the players he's lining up against. Wilson recognizes the task they have on hand.

"This is the best team in the West right now," Wilson said. "I would say it's the Cardinals, but if you look at the rankings, they're number one right now. We got to take that down, though."

Wilson declared himself as a perfectionist with the understanding that "I'm not always going to be perfect, but I'm going to try my best to be." When it comes to watching film ahead of the NFC West rivalry game, he's going to take his self-evaluation seriously and critically.

His pride is something that's been very clear to Gannon and his staff.

"When you don't coach or play up to what you think is your standard or you know, I feel this at times, like I let the team down, that's kind of a bad feeling," Gannon said. "The next day, the next week, how you learn from it and try to make sure it doesn't happen, but the position that he plays is a premier position for a reason."

"I always tell people the three technique (on the defensive line) gets breached and it's a 10-yard gain and no one knows a thing, but when a corner gives up a touchdown, he's on ESPN. Marco is very mentally tough. He's resilient."

Images of the Cardinals practicing at the Dignity Health Sports Complex before the Week 4 regular season matchup against the San Francisco 49ers