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'We stay in our lane': Steve Keim, Bruce Arians make things work well

The way the two work together has led to success.

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals held a press conference on Tuesday to address the team's decision to give general manager Stave Keim and head coach Bruce Arians new contracts.

Of course there were the customary statements thanking the organization and praising it for how it works. And those things should be said, as the Cardinals had no need to give Keim or Arians new contracts.

It just goes to show how much better the organization is run.

With 21 wins in two seasons, it's hard not to think the duo is one of the best in the NFL.

How do they do it?

"We stay in our lane,"Keim said. "He does his job and I do mine. When you don't cross those lines, they don't get blurred. Around the league, when you see those lines get blurred, internal dysfunction follows."

Keim and his team acquire players. Arians and his staff coach them. Sticking to that formula has worked so far, and Arians seems content to keep it that way.

We have seen things change before. Ken Whisenhunt, who also saw himself get a new contract after early success and it was the organization that paid him handsomely and that approached him for the new deal. But one thing did change -- Whisenhunt was given more power to make personnel decisions, which didn't seem to go well for him. Injuries and the inability to fix the quarterback position after Kurt Warner retired eventually led to the team's demise and Whisenhunt's dismissal three years later.

This is where things seem different with Arians. While Keim admitted there are "heated discussions" at times at the table when it comes to evaluating players, but in the end it is Keim that will make "a Cardinal decision."

They have a policy of "check your ego at the door." That is easier said than done in the NFL.

It would appear the Cardinals are on the right path. They key is what happens next. With Whisenhunt, it began a three-year decline and struggle. Will it be different for Arians and Keim?