The Cardinals need a clean slate and a fresh new start.
They need a GM who can repair the Cardinals’ dubious image amongst the players in the NFL.
They need to put QB Josh Rosen in the best possible hands.
In my first off-season plan, I championed for Peyton Manning as GM, Matt LaFleur as HC and Todd Bowles as DC.
I now have a sneaking suspicion that Matt LaFleur is going to be one of the hottest HC candidates in the 2019 pool—-anyone who saw last night’s epic 54-51 offensive bonanza between the Rams and Chiefs will understand why QB gurus paired with young stud QBs are the vogue of the NFL right now.
Who knows what Peyton Manning will do—-I imagine that his chicken parm subs taste a lot better when he is competing for something big. I think he is going to splash on to the NFL GM scene this off-season, but probably not in Arizona.
It looks like Todd Bowles is headed out of the Meadowlands. He certainly will be a hot candidate this off-season—-mostly as a DC, but with as many as 10 HC vacancies anticipated, Bowles may get his fair share of HC interviews.
Thus—-this week I am going to propose a new, potentially more realistic plan.
But first I have to say how uncomfortable I feel about fans putting the lion’s share of the blame for 2018 Cardinals’ woes on HC Steve Wilks.
Just remember this: Steve Keim had a 2 year “retooling” plan for Mike McCoy (on a 2 year deal) to lead QB Sam Bradford (on a 2 year deal—-with a no trade clause and a team option in 2019) to back-to-back playoff berths. It didn't matter that McCoy was fired in mid-season last year as the Broncos’ OC, nor that Bradford’s previous head coach publicly described the QB’s knee as “degenerative”...as in bone on bone.
Even more perplexingly—-it didn't matter that after trading up to draft QB Josh Rosen, Keim’s 2 year vision did not change one iota. In fact, Keim was constantly gushing about Bradford’s “elite skillset.” Keim believed that he had put Bradford in the right hands—-the hands of Mike McCoy.
It didn't help Steve Wilks that Keim then proceeded to spend the off-season stockpiling players on offense, while doing very little to help Wilks out on the defensive end. Keim’s biggest moves on defense were to pick up LB Deone Bucannon’s $8.7 5th year option and to trade for CB Jamar Taylor.
Therefore, due to the fact that Keim’s two year plan didn't’t even make it half way through the season, and the fact that the Cardinals are subject of scorn around the NFL from a host of former players—-it is time for a change at GM.
Enter long-time NFL scout, the Eagles’ former director of pro personnel and current ESPN NFL analyst, Louis Riddick.
Riddick knows good young QB when he sees them—-look at this short interview back in August. Last year he predicted before the season that Jared Goff was going to surprise and lead the rams to the playoffs—-and this year Riddick hitched his wagon in August to Pat Mahomes.
I want Riddick hitching his wagon in 2019 to Josh Rosen and better yet I want Riddick to put Rosen in the best possible hands and to surround him with the best possible talent.
Even with Riddick on board as GM i am not sure that the Cardinals will be able to sign one of the top 3-4 hottest HC candidates—-
But—-mind over matter—-if you don’t mind, it don't matter—-
The coach who I think would be picture perfect for Josh Rosen and the Cardinals organization in Chris Peterson, HC, Washington Huskies.
Does anyone remember Boise St.’s stunning come from behind upset of Oklahoma in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl at the U of P in Glendale?
I thought o myself that night—-man I hope Chris Peterson becomes the HC of the Cardinals one day. How about the Statue of Liberty game winner?
Chris Peterson is one of the brightest crayons in the creative-minded offensive coaches’ box.
Not only that—-as a head coach he has an outstanding philosophy of what to look for in acquiring his OKG (our kind of guy) players and how important it is for every coach and player to leave his ego at the door.
Plus, Peterson would bring some of his highly talented staff with him:
Huskies’ OC Bush Hamdan—-Hamdan was Matt Ryan’s QB coach with the Falcons in 2017.
Huskies’ DC Jimmy Lake—-who runs a 34 base and was Budda Baker’s and Zeke Turner’s co-coordinator and defensive backs coach at Washington.
Peterson, Lake and Hamden—-”You see it’s all clear, you were meant to be here, from the beginning.”