On yesterday’s Red Rain Podcast, I talk about two potential GM candidates who might be good choices for the Cardinals.
The first is Jon Carr, the director of college scouting for the New York Jets, who has been absolutely crushing the Jets’ drafts for past couple of years.
A possible package with Jon Carr as GM:
- HC: Mike LaFleur —- very creative run schemes and use of RBs, from the Shanahan/McVay coaching tree, younger brother of Packers’ Matt LaFleur
- OC: Taylor Embree —- current RB coach for Jets, his dad is the TEs coach for the 49ers.
- DC: Marquand Manuel —- Jets’ secondary coach, former Falcons’ DC under Dan Quinn.
As I pointed out, Jon Carr was on the Houston Texans’ scout team for 11 seasons and director of college scouting his last two years for the Texans. He was on the scouting staff that drafted JJ Watt and Deandre Hopkins.. “Let’s finish what we started.” D-Hop.
The wild card GM candidate I alluded to is ESPN’s Ryan Clark, former Pro Bowl FS of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Today, as I have kept weighing the positives of Jon Carr and Ryan Clark, here are the reasons why, if I had to vote today for one, the vote would be for RC.
What I Want in a New GM:
- Someone who is a direct and honest communicator.
If the Arizona Cardinals ever needed a talking to —- this is exactly what they need to hear
- Someone who brings a desperately needed sense of humor.
This guy is an absolute hoot. FF to 2:00 mark.
Great humor draws a crowd —- I always said about teaching: a classroom without laughter is like a summer snack bar without ice cream.
Great humor also draw’s people’s full attention —- if there is a the threat of humor at any moment, people are apt to be all ears.
RC would make Cardinals’ press conferences even more entertaining than BA’s —- and that, as we know, is saying a lot.
- Someone who will finally sign and draft the correct prototypes for the 3-4 defense.
The Cardinals coaches and scouts have been getting these prototypes wrong for years. Not only will Ryan Clark correct this gross flaw in the team’s modus operandi, he will very likely bring in his old mentor Dick LeBeau as an advisor to make sure that this time the Cardinals finally get the personnel and schematics of the 3-4 right.
- Someone who will not permit double standards for players.
Ryan Clark was an undrafted free agent who earned everything he achieved in the NFL through hard work, toughness and perseverance. No one ever rolled out the red carpet for him and he actually appreciated that. He knows how inflated egos and preferential treatment of star players can destroy a team’s culture.
- Someone who will make the Arizona locker room a true, genuine football culture.
Ryan Clark knows and understands what a genuine football culture in the locker room looks like. He will not only bring it, he will demand it. And that means the players’ utmost participation in team building opportunities like OTAs.
- Someone who will hold the coaches accountable.
Ryan Clark knows what precise preparation for opponents entails. He has a masterful command of X’s and O’s on both side of the ball. If Clark were the GM today, he would demand big-time changes from the coaches by explaining to them where their systems are flawed and how easy out is for opponents to attack and exploit them.
- Someone who will not put up with anyone cutting corners.
RC never cut corners himself. He knows and distrusts players who try to get away with it.
- Someone who is a master of X’s and O’s.
Look at this film breakdown he conducted with Scott Van Pelt after the Ravens’ win last night.
- Someone, ideally, who has been a member of a Super Bowl Champion team and, therefore, knows and understands what it takes to bring home football’s ultimate prize.
Ryan Clark was the FS for the 2008 World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers in tandem with HOF SS Troy Polamalu. In 2008, RC produced 88 tackles and 1 interception in helping to lead that Steelers’ team that beat the Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII.
- Someone who can motivate today’s players.
I can’t think of anyone who could motivate today’s players better than RC.
A few weeks ago, Ryan Clark took the risk on NFL Live of calling out the Pittsburgh Steelers’ players for “rolling over” in their lackluster 38-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He prefaced his remarks by asserting that his favorite coach in the NFL is Mike Tomlin. He therefore challenged the Steelers’ players to play with the kind of passion and pride that is synonymous with the Steelers’ football tradition and the core values of their head coach.
One can imagine that RC’s plea was shown to the Steelers’ players.
The Steelers’ players certainly got the message, because the next game they went out and upset Tom Brady and the Bucs 20-18.
- Someone who can attract free agents to Arizona.
This one of the most important considerations because Ryan Clark has the charisma and the passion, as mentioned earlier, “to attract a crowd.”
- Someone who could form an instant bond with Michael Bidwill, Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris.
I think that Michael Bidwill would absolutely love Ryan Clark’s passion and his sense of humor. It might be a little tricky with Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris because they are apt to feel overlooked and rightfully aware of having higher credentials.
But, neither Wilson nor Harris has Ryan Clark’s charisma.
if the Cardinals are going to change the national perception of the franchise, it sure would help to hire a GM who has national popularity.
Just as importantly, by hiring Ryan Clark, Michael Bidwill can avoid having to choose between Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris, which is a tougher decision than some people may realize.
The fact too that Wilson and Harris have been a part of the dubious 3-4 personnel decisions via the draft is disconcerting.
The Cardinals promoted from within the last time, when Michael Bidwill promoted Steve Keim.
This time, bringing a GM from the outside would be a much welcomed breath of fresh air —- and a clean break from the status quo.
I believe that once Ryan Clark is on board, A-Dub and Q will love yucking it up each day with RC and all, as former NFL safeties, will form a tight union.
- Someone who makes your ears perk up every time he talks.
RC recently caused as stir when he said that depending on where the Steelers pick in the 1st round of next year’s draft that they should consider taking another QB, if they think like the Cardinals did with taking Kyler Murray, that another QB is better than Kenny Pickett.
- Someone who has charisma.
RC’s comparisons are epic!
- Someone who can be an alpha among alphas.
If you only watch one of these videos, this one takes the cake!
- Someone who can and will speak to the truth.
This was gutsy of Ryan Clark to say, but it was precisely the truth.
This is why I think Ryan Clark could be the guy to push Kyler Murray to find ways to move the pocket and to drive the ball downfield way much more than he currently does.
- Someone who will consistently draft alphas from the top Power 5 college programs.
Ryan Clark played in the SEC at LSU. He would be tapped into the SEC like no Cardinals’ GM ever has.
On the Arizona 2022 roster, how many players are from Alabama and LSU? One: DT Rashard Lawrence (Round 4, 2020, LSU). From Ohio St. and Michigan? One: C Billy Price (PS claim 2022, Ohio St.). https://t.co/AgamrpP4Ra— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) November 6, 2022
- Someone whom everyone in the building wants to be around.
RC is the proverbial straw that stirs the milkshake.
- Someone who sees the need for change.
Finally, in Ryan Clark’s own words —- what he is saying about Ben McAdoo and the Giants’ organization needing a change —- is exactly in the same spirit at to why the Cardinals’ organization needs a change of leadership at GM. A GM who will bring in a fresh agenda and his own coaching staff.
RC for Cardinals GM.
As the advertising executive in the iconic play Twelve Angry Men loved to say about a novel idea, “let’s string it up the flagpole and see who salutes it.”