In reading and listening to a number of pundits who are discussing the Cardinals’ possible change at GM, one thing many of them keep asking over and over is: “what respectable GM candidate would want this job?”
The common explanations are:
- The Cardinals are historically one of the worst franchises in the NFL.
- The Cardinals’ ownership is friendly and accommodating, but not very football savvy.
- The Cardinals play in the toughest division in the NFL and it looks like the Seahawks, 49ers and Rams are going to be very good for years to come.
- Former Cardinals’ players around the league are highly critical of the Cardinals’ organization—-even a current player recently termed the Cardinals’ front office as “snakes in the grass.”
- The Cardinals have a dysfunctional culture in which veteran players are pampered and young players are inadequately developed.
- The Cardinals are generally regarded as “soft” “pretty boys” who relish in a “country club atmosphere.”
Ouch to all of this.
But, these are the league-wide perceptions that Michael Bidwill needs to address and ameliorate.
I can guarantee you that Michael Bidwill is not blind to these perceptions—-and he is going to do something about them.
Perhaps some of these perceptions are not entirely fair—-but perception is what it is—-until you change it once and for all.
However, look at what happened in Carolina yesterday. The Panthers fired Ron Rivera—-their long-standing, no-nonsense defensive-minded head coach who coached his team to a Super Bowl berth in 2015.
Now look at today’s tweet from CBS Sports Senior NFL reporter Jonathan Jones:
The new Carolina Panthers head coach will likely be...
- An offensive-minded coach
- Who loves analytics
- And is fine with an arranged marriage with GM/assistant GM
- But may not have an answer on his QB when he takes the job.
Tough minded defensive coaches like Ron Rivera are no longer trending as head coaches in the NFL.
Offensive masterminds are.
You see—-teams want to lock in an offensive mastermind as head coach because the good ones who are coordinators or high profile college coaches get snatched up in a New York minute to become head coaches—-thus the days of hanging on to an offensive mastermind as OC are now over. And everyone wants excitement, high scoring and continuity on offense.
And this is why the Cardinals’ GM job is actually extremely attractive.
The Cardinals have their offensive mastermind in Kliff Kingsbury and with him they have one of the most exciting young QBs in the NFL in Kyler Murray.
Michael Bidwill, in consulting with Ernie Accorsi (“The QB Guy”) nearly a year ago, made a bold move to acquire this dynamic duo of Kingsbury and Murray.
With the HC and QB in place, a new GM can feel very excited about building the foundation of a championship caliber coaching staff and roster around them.
The facts that Kingsbury is a well liked and respected player’s coach and that Kyler Murray is similarly charismatic in a humble and highly focused way would suggest that NFL free agents and their reps are going to view the Arizona Cardinals in a different and more alluring light—-particularly if the Cardinals’ new GM is creating excitement.
Fast forward to the 1:00 mark of this interview with WR Larry Fitzgerald to hear what he has to say about QB Kyler Murray and HC Kliff Kingsbury:
Fitz’s excitement about playing in the K-Raid is extremely uplifting. It means everything.
Who would want the Cardinals’ GM job?
With the two major building blocks already in place, there is a legitimate chance to rewrite NFL history books in Arizona.