Coverage of the Arizona Cardinals lately has focused on the future of head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who is understandably on the hot seat. That’s been the case here at Revenge of the Birds, including a couple pieces from yours truly.
But the undercurrent to all of the Kliff chatter is that the problems go higher than just him. Just take a look at the comments here on RotB whenever GM Steve Keim’s name comes up. Most seem to want him gone.
Well, the Steve Keim story is starting to gain more national attention. At least two stories have come out in the past week that mention Keim and his potentially tenuous job security.
Let’s start with one from Pro Football Network’s Arif Hasan: “5 NFL General Managers That Could Be Fired Following 2022 Season.” Keim was at the top of his list. Here’s a couple snippets.
“Among all general managers with at least five years of experience, Steve Keim has generated the lowest winning percentage.”
“Much of [the team’s 2022 failures] has to do with the decisions Keim has made; the defense is full of ‘positionless’ players who don’t do any specific job well, while the depth along the offensive line has left the team wanting.”
The second quote is hardly surprising—fans and observers have been harping on Keim for his defensive draft picks since Deone Bucannon, and we’re down to playing street free agents on the O-line. But the first was a little surprising to me. We’ve made an NFC title game under Keim’s stewardship and won 11 games last season. But even that success has been surrounded by several fallow years. That just goes to show you where this organization truly stands in the NFL hierarchy.
Here’s the second article, from theScore’s Jordan Schultz: “Schultz: The next 5 weeks will answer a lot of coaching questions.” The piece is about coaches on the hot seat, but Schultz quicky pivots from Kliff to Keim. Here are a couple pretty damning quotes.
“Let’s start at the top with owner Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim. The complete absence of accountability - especially from Keim - is appalling. His lack of professionalism permeates the entire franchise.”
“’Keim’s a fan. He’s been able to keep that job because of his relationship with Bidwill, but he’s not a football savant or football mind. He’s not a leader,’ a long-time personnel staffer told me.”
It’s important to note that the first quote is from Schultz himself, not anyone in the organization. But observers have been harshly critical of Keim’s perceived lack of professionalism and accountability since his 2018 DUI arrest. But if it’s true that Keim’s personal failings have indeed trickled down to the rest of the organization, that would go a long away to what we’re seeing from the 2022 team.
But if the second quote IS from someone in the organization, it’s even more damning. This team has had a leadership problem for a long time, and it sounds like people in the building might finally be starting to get tired of it. But what’s concerning is that it might not matter if Michael Bidwill wants to keep his buddy Steve around. Would he actually fire him? Or, as my colleague Blake Murphy suggested on a recent podcast, could he perhaps shift him to another role in the organization?
Here’s another quote from the Schultz article that got me thinking: “Kingsbury is a good offensive mind stuck in a no-win situation for an owner and GM who haven’t a clue how to properly run a professional organization.” Is there a scenario where the team moves on from Keim at GM but keeps Kliff around? I would have said no up until now, viewing them as kind of a package deal given that they both signed extensions at the same time.
But now, I’m not so sure. Shifting Keim to some kind of Senior Advisor role, bringing in a new GM, and rolling the dice with Kliff for another year seems like a real possibility.
What do we think of this, RotBers? Would you rather we keep Keim but fire Kliff, keep Kliff but fire Keim, keep both for another year, or fire both? Vote in the poll below and sound off in the comments.
What would you rather the Cardinals do at GM and head coach going into the 2023 season?
This poll is closed
Keep Steve Keim but fire Kliff Kingsbury
Fire Steve Keim but keep Kliff Kingsbury
Keep both Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury
Fire both Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury