It’s officially the NFL offseason.
We made it!
Now, time to speculate on this semi-cryptic year end video posted by the team’s official twitter account featuring none other than Cardinal Owner and President Michael Bidwill.
So there’s a lot to unpack...
First of all, I don’t remember him ever doing something like this in prior years. You could argue that it was prompted as a much deserved “thank you” as a result of the efforts made to combat COVID-19. He of course thanks the fans for their commitment to providing some kind of a home-field advantage during a national pandemic.
Good stuff there from Mr. B.
However, I do think it’s interesting that neither team GM Steve Keim nor head coach Kliff Kingsbury are mentioned in the video (yes they are briefly shown). Now this could be a coincidence but it’s also not lost on Bidwill that a mere 12 hours prior to this tweet, his ex-coach and ex-assistant GM are hoisting the Lombardi trophy in Tampa, Florida.
Again, probably nothing but it’s worth mentioning.
Another thing that stood out was Michael highlighting young players like Byron Murphy and Isaiah Simmons as if they were key contributors during the 2020 season. Byron Murphy, who absolutely should be playing 100% of the time on defense, logged only 49 snaps (on average) per game.
We all know about the team potentially stifling Isaiah Simmons’ development, but for the sake of this article I need to point out that he only averaged a putrid 23 snaps per game.
That’s 23 snaps per game for the eighth overall pick last May.
“Young defensive stars in the making”, Bidwill says.
How can players turn into stars if DC Vance Joseph, who will be retained for 2021, continually refuses to play them?
It’s also worth noting that Joseph is not at all referenced in the piece.
Bottom line, this video feels like a necessary response to what has gone on with the Rams QB upgrade in addition to the Arians/Licht Super Bowl victory.
As it stands now, the Cardinals are currently projected (by Vegas) to finish fourth in their division in 2021. That’s with having arguably a top 5-7 QB in Kyler Murray under his modest rookie contract that the team has been able to leverage for the last two years.
I understand that a lot cant change this offseason in terms of player personnel, but one thing that remains is the Cardinals infrastructure of general manager and head coach. Both Keim and Kingsbury will be back this year, which likely is the primary reason so many oulets have already written off the Cardinals.
Fair or not, they reside in the most competitive division in football that sports three teams who have all earned playoff victories over the past 13 months.
It should be noted that since Michael Bidwill took over as President, the Cardinal football franchise has enjoyed their most successful run in team history. I do believe Bidwill is committed to winning, which is more than you can say about a lot of pro owners.
The Cardinals can absolutely win a Super Bowl with Michael Bidwill as team president.
Bidwill vowed for an aggressive approach in the coming months and I do believe him. I believe there is a sincere sense of urgency to win in 2021 and that’s a good thing for Cardinal fans. Expect a slew of big ticket free agency signings, a major trade (or two) and an impact first round pick.
The 53 man roster will look the part soon enough.
But when push comes to shove this fall, it may not matter who the Cardinals dress on game day when they’re already so far behind the eight-ball in terms of who’s leading this team (GM and head coach).
Bidwill doesn’t have a McVay, a Les Snead, a Pete Carroll, a Kyle Shanahan.
He has Steve Keim, who has not yet produced a winning season post Bruce Arians, and Kliff Kingsbury who was fired by his alma mater.
“Ultimately we fell short of our goals in 2020, and missing the playoffs was a major disappointment.”
Game on, Mr. B.