Is it any wonder the identity-less Cardinals drafted Isaiah Simmons?

College Football Playoff National Championship - Media Day

OK, it's time to worry about Isaiah Simmons. No, not because we've barely seen the linebacker - or, whatever he is - on Sundays. But because it's become clear that Arizona's selection of the Clemson hybrid was symptomatic of a larger problem.

The Cardinals have no identity. Just like Simmons.

What in the world is Kliff Kingsbury's overarching philosophy? Does he even have a preference for how he'd like his football team to be run? Or, does he save his preferences for Instagram models only? How does he like his defense called? What types of players fit his program? Seriously, does he even have an offensive ideology?

The honeymoon is over. In a league dominated by men with conviction, Kliff Kingsbury is coming off like Paul Rudd in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

"I don't have an answer for that," Kingsbury said this week when asked why the Cardinals got off to such a slow start against the Panthers in Week 4. "It wasn't good enough. I think I mentioned, they, um, had more intensity and more focus to start the game."


For all the handwringing that I, and others, have done about Arizona's lack of offensive aggression, what's most remarkable about this team is that I'm not sure anyone in the building knows what it's supposed to look like.

And, that's how you wind up taking a player that's good at everything, not great at anything, and may - kind of - just, like, solve problems, man.

Other, more enviable teams, pick players that can slide seemlessly into their system - because, you know - they have a system. The 49ers took Javon Kinlaw in the first round because they take defensive lineman in the first round every year. They drafted Brandon Aiyuk in the first round - even though many saw him as second or third-rounder - because Kyle Shanahan's philosophy is that receivers should be running backs and running backs should be receivers. Aiyuk showed his running back chops on Sunday night.

The Chiefs want to be a track meet. The Patriots want to be an exam. The Ravens want to be roadrunners. The Cardinals haven't decided yet.

There's a reason high achievers set goals. They provide structure. Direction. Efficiency. No point in driving 100 mph if you're going in the wrong direction.

Why is Isaiah Simmons lost right now? Because his organization is lost. They were the only team in the top ten openminded enough to get swept up in everything he might be able to do. Think about that word. Openminded. Nonpartisan. Detached. Impartial. All hypothetically great, right? But, conviction rules the world. Just ask Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Nick Saban and Bill Belichick.

Or ask Kliff Kingsbury, who's searching for it desperately.

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