Steve Wilks lands in Cleveland as Cardinals connection grows with Browns

On a day in which the Cardinals announced more of their own coaching staff under Kliff Kingsbury came the news (from multiple reports) that former Cardinals coach Steve Wilks will be hired in Cleveland this season as the Browns' defensive coordinator. The Browns, of course, hired Freddie Kitchens -- who was an assistant for the Cardinals for 11 seasons under Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians -- as head coach last week.

It just upped the storylines when the Cardinals host the Browns during the 2019 season. There is Kitchens and the Cardinals, Wilks and the Cardinals, Josh Rosen and one of the QBs drafted ahead of him in Baker Mayfield, and Mayfield and Kingsbury, after Mayfield played for Kingsbury as a freshman in college before transferring because he was unhappy Kingsbury went with a different QB.

The Cardinals, of course, also play Arians (and all those former Cardinals assistants now coaching for the Buccaneers) in Tampa next season. Cardinals president Michael Bidwill noted last week when asked about Arians coaching in Tampa the chance to play both the Browns and Bucs.

“We were already well down the process by the time we realized Bruce was potentially serious (about coaching)," Bidwill said. "There was a lot of talk of Cleveland (for Arians), but by the time the Tampa thing came up we were well down the process here. Wish him all the luck in the world. We are still great friends and fans, and some of the same coaching staff I would imagine will be there, and we are excited for those guys. It’ll be a fun year. Freddie Kitchens (in Cleveland) … we are going to play both those teams (Tampa and Cleveland) in 2019. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Cardinals coach Steve Wilks calls a play during a home game against the Rams in 2018

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