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The Michael and Scottie Era of Cardinals Football

Chicago Bulls v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals are attempting to build their offense around QB Kyler Murray and their defense around all-purpose LB/S Isaiah Simmons.

It’s the M & S blueprint for building a champion:

Michael and Scottie

Murray and Simmons

To win championships in professional team sports it generally requires the nifty braiding of a high scoring offense with an aggressive, stingy defense.

At this point in their young careers, Kyler Murray and Isaiah Simmons have shown flashes of brilliance and at times appear to be the most dynamic athletes on their side of the ball.

Kyler’s development has been faster and more dramatic —-

Now, at this point four years into Kyler Murray’s career it would seem far-fetched to liken him to a sports icon like Michael Jordan. However, can one argue with Kliff Kingbsury’s assessment that when Kyler is at his best, he is as brilliant as any QB in the NFL? How many other NFL QBs possess the combination of Kyler’s athletic ability and skills?

While Isaiah Simmons’ development has been slowed at times by the uncertainty of what position bests fits his extraordinary talents —- plus, to be fair to Isaiah and the coaches —-trying to assimilate into the NFL his first two seasons amidst all of the COVID-19 restrictions, has made the transition more difficult.

It took Scottie Pippen a couple of years to find his NBA niche as a 6’8” forward who could defend every position on the basketball court.

This season the Cardinals’ coaches are going to tap into Isaiah Simmons’ unique versatility by playing him at the “star” linebacker position —- which essentially means that Isaiah will be moved like a queen around the formational chessboards —- quite similarly, one can imagine, to how the Chargers employ their defensive All-Pro Swiss Army knife, S Derwin James.

If the Cardinals’ defense, aided and abetted by the stellar play of the four vertices of their playmaking rhombus of Budda Baker, Jalen Thompson, Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins, can be as dynamic as the Cardinals’ offensive rhombus that features Kyler Murray, James Conner, Hollywood Brown and Rondale Moore (thus becoming a pentagon upon DeAbdre Hopkins’ return in Week 7), then this could signal the first time in the history of the St. Louis and Arizona Cardinals that the team can be considered a legitimate championship contender.

Winning championships takes teamwork and star power.

It takes offensive and defensive catalysts.

The kind a team build its roster around.

NFL Pro Bowl Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Welcome to year three of the Murray and Simmons era of the Arizona Cardinals.