There has been a turn in the Arizona Cardinals fanbase over the last several years.
When Bruce Arians and the team went “All or Nothing” in 2013 and on and came up short, it showed the flaw in the mentality and the long-term planning of the team.
The flaw, there was no long-term plan. The team was going to go at a break neck pace and try to win, the future be damned.
Money was pushed down the road to later years, draft picks were picked with the immediate need of the team in mind and what comes next would be a problem for later.
Well, that problem came to a head in 2018 and has taken the team into an all to familiar place of uncertainty and quite frankly looking like one of the worst organizations in the NFL.
They hired Steve Wilks to fire him in under a calendar year.
The drafted Josh Rosen, handcuffed him with the worst offense in modern NFL history and then moved on in a year.
The idea that this was a sound organization was laughable and the things some, myself included, had complained about dating back to the 2012 NFL Draft continued to rear their ugly head.
When Wilks was fired and Steve Keim was retained it showed to many that the Cardinals may in fact be the same organization they have always been.
Yet, they did something they have never done before. They hired an innovative, young and quite frankly risky head coach in Kliff Kingsbury.
Kingsbury was nothing like the previous head coaching hires. No NFL coaching experience, not a coordinator, not from a “winning” organization. No, he was a wild card, just as everything was that would follow.
Keim and company went all in on Kingsbury and his choice of quarterback in Kyler Murray.
He put the pedal to the metal trying to fix an embarrassing offense, and did so throwing caution to the wind.
It is a ballsy plan that is in its infancy, but one that at least in year one showed improvement.
Now, sitting in January after seeing a rookie quarterback put up one of the better statistical seasons in NFL history, seeing a running game perform at a level that was completely unexpected, and an offensive line that was scoffed at heading into the season, there is nothing but doubt.
The team has made nary a move in the 2020 offseason and fans are already lamenting the moves that could be made.
That’s right, hypotheical moves that have not even been made yet are being denigrated for the sake of... Well I am not sure.
Does Steve Keim and company deserve your trust? No, they completely lost that when they were so unprepared for the post Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians era it was a laughable outcome. The worst team in Cardinals history? The losingest franchise in North American sports put up their worst performance in team history with Steve Keim calling the shots.
So, no Keim doesn’t deserve your trust.
Except, we don’t have a choice.
He’s the GM of the team you are a fan of.
I’ve wanted Keim fired since 2016 when it became apparent he had no vision for the future of this team. Yet, this is his last chance and we’re mad at moves that haven’t even been made? We’re mad that the offensive line “sucks” yet Steve Keim has spent seven years trying to fix it.
Where was your vitriol in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017?
It is easy to be disenchanted with the state of the franchise when it is obvious they are bad, but why were you not crying out when they drafted a safety to play linebacker over addressing the offensive line or defensive line?
Why is it that when things were fine in 2015 no one cared that their first three rounds of picks played under 1,000 combined snaps?
It is easy to nag at where the Cardinals are now and the decisions they made, and make no doubt that is what most of the hand wringing has become, nagging.
Yet, the parades and Ring of Honor spots were being planned after 2014 and 2015 and 2016 for every pick, every decision.
Are the Cardinals bad? Absolutely.
Is Steve Keim the biggest culprit of this organization crashing back down? 100%.
Does complaining that the Cardinals may draft a wide receiver again change anything? Does calling Keim a drunk because he wants to run back the same offensive line that was the 10th best in pass block win rate and helped pave the way for the second best rushing team according to DVOA help?
So, let’s take a minute to acknowledge a couple of things and layout some realities moving forward.
- Steve Keim is the GM. We don’t have to like or agree with it, but he is the GM at least for 2020.
- Steve Keim has made zero decisions in 2020.
- Bemoaning the hypothetical moves Keim could make is a waste of time and this is a board wide warning that continually complaining of what might happen, or calling Keim a drunk or generally bringing nothing of substance but negativity to the table will begin to be deleted.
Now, people won’t like this and that is fine with me, but understand, the toxicity and negativity of where the Cardinals are right now should not be the topic of conversation. At least while no moves are being made.
Once the offseason gets underway if you are opposed to or against moves being made, feel free to discuss why. In fact, it is encouraged.
However, the overall tone of the offseason seems to be assuming things will only get worse from here.
Well, hate to tell you, but you’re an Arizona Cardinals fan, you’re already at the bottom. Maybe some hope that the future could be better is a new medicine we should all taste.
Once the moves start being made, then let’s all rebel, but until then let’s try and remember we are all fans on the same team and the goal is simple, to see them win.