For the Arizona Cardinals, the next five years looks like it can continue to build off of the success of the first four.
With Steve Keim at general manager and Bruce Arians at head coach, the Arizona Cardinals have a fantastic duo who understand each other and stay out of one anothers way.
That has created a strong environment where Keim gets players that Bruce Arians can use and then Arians and his staff have done a nice job of putting them in position to perform.
What that has led to is the best four year run in Arizona Cardinals history, as the Cardinals have produced 41 wins to only 22 losses and one, miserable tie.
What are the five things the Cardinals need to continue to do over the next five years?
2017: Take the pressure off of Carson Palmer.
The Cardinals have gone as far as Carson Palmer can take them, we saw what Carson Palmer was capable of, at the height of his powers, in 2015. That doesn’t mean they can’t win a Super Bowl with Palmer as their quarterback.
They just need to continue to find a way to win with Palmer, not because of Palmer. What Palmer can be is a sage veteran presence, who can make big throws in timely situations, but the Arizona Cardinals need to be about David Johnson and the defense.
Getting back to that will take all the pressure off of Palmer.
2018: Get a quarterback that can continue the winning ways.
With Carson Palmer at the helm, you expect the Cardinals to win, you expect them to compete for the playoffs. It may not be a Super Bowl team anymore (at least to those outside of the Cardinals fanbase and media) but it is a team that should expect to be competing for the playoffs year after year.
2018 needs to be the year we see the transition and the plan. It doesn’t mean that the Cardinals need to replace Palmer in 2018, but they need to have someone in house ready to go in 2019.
For the Cardinals to be a truly great franchise, they will have to take the next step. Carson Palmer has done an outstanding job of getting the Cardinals to where they are, now they need to build a team and find a quarterback that will allow them breakthrough and be a franchise that others emulate.
2020: Take Arians out on top
This would mark the 68th birthday of Bruce Arians in 2020, what better way to celebrate than by winning a Super Bowl?
If Arians and the Cardinals can continue to build the pieces of the team, it will make finding a quarterback after Carson Palmer much easier, it will also shorten the road to glory.
2021: Continue a winning tradition
Whether it is after 2020, 2021 or even beyond, the Cardinals need to also start preparing for life after Arians.
They need to identify and start cultivating a coach that can take what Arians has built and carry it forward.
What do you see as the next five years for the Arizona Cardinals?
Which year do you see happening?
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