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Steve Keim: Signing, drafting big time pass rusher 'easier said than done'

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The GM appears to try to temper expectations.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the Arizona Cardinals saw their season come to end in the NFC Championship Game and saw the Denver Broncos win a Super Bowl, mostly because of their defense, it led to a lot of talk about the team having to improve their pass rush. General manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have talked about how it is more or less number one on the offseason list.

But Keim appeared on the final Big Red Rage radio show/podcast on Thursday and seemed to temper that expectation a bit.

With pass rushers dominating the offseason talk for the team, he made sure to let the audience know he looks at all the areas he sees need, not only at starting positions, but at depth. He also spoke about the difficulty of getting a really good pass rusher.

"There's no doubt our goal is to improve our pass rush," he said. "Now I did say that, but easier said than done. There are rarely pass rushers out there in free agency, and if there are, you look at the price tag they come with. And then when you're pick at 29, again easier said than done."

He emphasized the notion that "you can't force signings and you can't force picks" when trying to fill a particular need because you leave more talented players on the board and other areas end up being needs down the road.

Now it isn't as if they haven't addressed the position. Since Steve Keim took over as general manager, the team has drafted Alex Okafor, Kareem Martin, Markus Golden and Shaq Riddick. They have signed John Abraham, LaMarr Woodley and Dwight Freeney.

Can the Cardinals sign or draft a dominant pass rusher? That will remain to be seen. It is clearly a priority. But should we expect a big name in the draft or in free agency? It sounds a little less likely.

You can't force signings and you can't force picks.