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Adrian Wilson: The Right “Stuff”

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When the Cardinals’ former All-Pro safety Adrian Wilson walks across the field at Raymond James Stadium this weekend to shake the hand of the Cardinals former head coach Bruce Arians, no doubt, BA will greet Wilson with a “whassup, Stuff?”

Arians gave Wilson the nickname “Stuff” (which has since evolved into the “Vice President of Stuff”) because, after Wilson was hired in 2015 as a regional scout, Arians couldn’t help notice that the ubiquitous Wilson was all over the front office, locker room and fields doing “stuff.”

When former GM Rod Graves was fired in 2013 and replaced by current GM Steve Keim, the Cardinals made the difficult decision to release Adrian Wilson after 12 years of devoted employment. Wilson then signed a three year deal with the Patriots which ended after one season due to a season-ending Achilles injury. In 2014, Wilson signed with the Chicago Bears, but did not make the roster.

Thus, on April 20, 2015 Adrian Wilson signed a one day contract to retire as an Arizona Cardinal. For a sweet reminder of the kind of passion, athleticism and thunder that Adrian Wilson brought to the Arizona Cardinals, here is a must see highlight video:

After retiring a Cardinal and joining the scouting staff in the spring of 2015, it didn't take long for Adrian Wilson to be feted as a very popular electee into the Cardinals’ Ring of Honor.

I imagine that many Cardinals’ fans might agree that the most endearing moment of Wilson’s career with the Cardinals came amongst the showers of red and white confetti during the celebration of the Cardinals’ 32-25 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2008 NFC Championship game (played on January 18, 2009 at the University of Phoenix Stadium). During his nationally televised interview, Adrian Wilson could not hold back his tears of pride and joy. The team he had stuck with and believed in—-when few others not named Larry would—-was headed to its first ever Super Bowl. Hard to believe that was just a little over 10 years ago.

This year—-three significant things have happened with regard to Adrian Wilson: (1) the Cardinals promoted him to director of pro scouting; (2) at Kliff Kingsbury’s introductory press conference, team president Michael Bidwill offered a special thanks to Ernie Accorsi and Adrian Wilson, as being key consultants during the head coaching search; (3) Roy Green and Adrian Wilson were the two former Cardinal players to help carry the casket of William V. Bidwill in to and out of Phoenix’s St. Francis Xavier Church.

The Vice President of Stuff has been a very busy man this year—-and one thing is becoming perfectly clear—-not only is Adrian Wilson continuing to devote his professional life to the Arizona Cardinals, he, in the process, has become a cherished member of the Bidwill family.

Odds are that Adrian Wilson may be too busy these days to read this tribute to him, but on the off-chance that he does, here is what I wish to say to you, VP of Stuff. I was crying tears of elation with you as you hoisted the Halas Trophy—-and it was my proudest moment in my 56 years of being a Cardinals’ fan. You (#24) are forever carved into the granite as the SS in the Mount Rushmore of my All-Time Cardinals’ secondary, along side of my boyhood idol, FS Larry Wilson (#8) and my two favorite CBs, Aeneas Williams (#35) and Roger Wehril (#22).

I would love to know what your role was in hiring Kliff Kingsbury and drafting Kyler Murray—-as I feel extremely grateful of those gutsy moves. I would also love to know what you would do to fix the current defensive failures—-knowing you, I am certain that no one is agonizing more about the current defensive demise. The organization needs you and your understanding of what constitutes a championship caliber defense more today, than ever before.

When you hoisted the Halas Trophy, you shouted “Stand Up Cardinals!!!” Well, A-Dub, please keep standing up for the Cardinals—-if anyone knows the virtue of perseverance and dogged, unrelenting tenacity, you do....because, after all, your Cardinals’ DNA is the right Stuff.