In case you missed it (and what true Cardinals fan would have) last year in 2018, the Arizona Cardinals introduced a new documentary style mini-series similar to their time on the Amazon show “All Or Nothing” as a look at their offseason from the end of the season to the NFL Draft and to the OTA’s.
Last year’s work was so spectacular in the quality of the production, it won an Emmy.
While there’s no knowledge if this will become an every-year sort of thing, it seemed almost more important than ever given that as last year’s chronicled the departure of Bruce Arians to the addition of Steve Wilks...a whole year later and Wilks was gona as the experiment had failed and a new head coach was brought into the building.
There was a lot learned from the first episode and here’s the five bit takeaways:
5. Justin Pugh has the moves
It was fun to see a big man get up and dance, and for him to embrace the opportunity. It’s not often that an offensive lineman gets to be the center of attention but Pugh (as a guard, not center) did just that. Seeing the behind the scenes of his debut was fun to say the least.
4. Michael Bidwill spoke with cameras just 5 hours after firing Wilks post-press conference
The scene at his desk in which he said “When you make a mistake you have to move on.” It’s the first time we saw Keim and Bidwill actively admit to media that THEY had made a mistake, not that Wilks had messed up or that there was something wrong, and while the press conference was shorter than many fans and media wanted, the fact that Bidwill continued to go on the record and make statements (even just after a difficult firing decision) is noteworthy.
I know I was still a bit surprised that he continued to point the finger at himself and the humility and honest take that he and Keim had in the episode was a bit surprising and refreshing as no fingers were pointed at Wilks but rather at themselves. Hopefully that humility will push Arizona to grow and learn from those mistakes.
3. It was Bidwill who worked out Larry Fitzgerald’s deal to return, not Keim.
It was Bidwill, not Keim, who worked out the deal for Larry to return. Makes sense in a lot of ways given that while Keim’s been a part of the organization his whole career, he’s only been the GM since 2013.
Quote he gave was: “I control the status of 52 players on the team as the GM, Michael has just one.”
This is interesting in part given that Keim’s job status, for many, was up in the air after last season. The way Flight Plan positions the two men, it doesn’t seem like it ever truly was. However, it does indeed show just how important Larry is and it’ll be interesting to see with Keim’s cap expert in Mike Disner now gone to the Lions how he will fare in perhaps the most important draft in his career thus far, perhaps the GM is still in control of the bulk of the roster and moves.
But this is ultimately Michael Bidwill’s show. The question is...will there be another player that Mike has a special relationship with that supersedes the GM? Will it become Josh Rosen?
Time will tell.
2. Christian Kirk is still not fully recovered from his broken foot
Kirk was ecstatic to hear of Larry Fitzgerald’s return, finding out upon entering the Dignity Health Training Facility for his rehab from one of the televisions.
But it’s notable that it’s already February and he was still a bit gimpy. This is natural given that it was a broken foot suffered late in the season and on January 24th, Kirk said he was ahead of schedule in his rehab, but it will be interesting to see if he gets any offseason work.
With that gimp though, it’ll be interesting if he does miss the valuable OTA time and the installation of many of Kliff’s offensive pieces as he’s a key weapon who’ll need to contribute in a big way in his 2nd year to live up to expectations.
1. The Cardinals moved...really fast to get their head coach
In under two months, Kliff Kingsbury has been:— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 8, 2019
-Fired as Texas Tech head coach (Nov. 26)
-Hired as USC OC (Dec. 5)
-Hired by Arizona Cardinals as head coach (Jan. 8) pic.twitter.com/JRGEsQA6ub
A few of the faces were shown of the people that the Cardinals interviewed such as Adam Gase, when the idea of an offensive mind as the new head coach came up. Bidwill’s smirk of “we’ll keep things close to the vest” in hindsight makes a lot of sense, but from the time-lapse footage of Kingsbury in the building it almost looks like he hopped off the helicopter with Bidwill, toured the facility (walking past Pat Tillman’s locker), interviewed and met with Bidwill and Keim, enjoyed some lunch at their cafeteria and then signed the paperwork.
Some...might not like that it didn’t seem like there was much time committed.
But, given that it’s obvious that other conversations had been going on and that there had been multiple interviews that Arizona gave before it’s clear he was the guy.
Perhaps there was a bit more to it that wasn’t shown on the show....or perhaps not.
Either way, it’s seemingly clear that it was an overwhelming consensus between Bidwill and Keim and sometimes in an interview you “know” that they’re the right guy for the job without having to interview more.
If you haven’t seen the episode yet, it’s below on Youtube as well as on Facebook Watch
You can follow Blake Murphy on Twitter at @blakemurphy7 and listen to him on the Revenge of the Birds podcast every week: