Fans, media and players know about the job that Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has done, especially with the roster moves and transactions he completed in the last year because of injuries. Keim is getting national respect now, too.
For the second year in a row, he was named Executive of the Year by Pro Football Talk.
The second-year General Manger quietly has compiled one of the best rosters in the NFL, building the kind of depth that allows the "next man up" concept to not collapse onto itself.
Paired up with coach Bruce Arians, there never has been - and never will be - any talk of rifts or mutual partings or hidden agendas. Keim and Arians are joined at the hip, and they'll either succeed or fail together. In 2014, they successfully got to the playoffs with their starting quarterback gone for most of the year, and other key injuries, defections, and a critical suspension to an important member of the defense.
If you recall, PFT named him Executive of the Year after the 2013 season, too.
In his first year of running the show, the former N.C. State offensive lineman expertly blended the desire to win now with the importance of building for the future. The acquisition of quarterback Carson Palmer helped make the team a postseason contender, and late offseason moves for tackle Eric Winston and pass rusher John Abraham gave the team enhanced veteran leadership and an affordable infusion of talent.
Keim also got the steal of the 2013 draft by landing Tyrann Mathieu in round three. (Running back Andre Ellington in the sixth round wasn't bad, either.)
With the 49ers and Seahawks ruling the division (and the conference for that matter), the Cardinals will have a hard time keeping up. Keim has done his part to at least keep them within striking distance for 2014 and beyond.
Keim, with Bruce Arians as head coach, has led the Cardinals to 21 wins in two seasons. He has another challenging offseason. He has contract situations for iconic Cardinals players (Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett) to address and a suspended player the team will probably need to sort out.
With another successful offseason and season, it seems completely possible the Keim could win the honor again in another year.