Think about your own experiences in relationships, and remember, that's what Cardinals GM Steve Keim and owner Michael Bidwill are in, a business relationship. Things started off great, right? They usually do. It's new and exciting, it's the summer, no worries, no responsibilities, and that thing she does with her toothbrush is still cute, not wildly annoying. But real relationships aren't about vacations, weekends, or the first year of lust. They're about the baby crying, the boss asking you to come in on a weekend and the in-law passing away too soon. How do you handle adversity? Which makes what Kent Somers said on The Drive with Jody Oehler on Monday such a head-scratcher.
"I feel even more certain," Somers said when asked if he still felt Steve Keim would keep his job after the season. "I thought... the only thing that would've changed that... was to lose out the season... or to look as bad as they did against the Rams a couple of weeks ago."
More certain? Generally, when Kent says something about the Cardinals, I listen. He's covered the team since 1994. He's one of the most plugged in voices in the valley. But, why would a home victory against one of the most dysfunctional teams in the NFL embolden Michael Bidwill to keep Steve Keim around?
By the way, I'm not calling for Steve Keim's head. I'm asking, why would an NFL owner use a home game against the Browns as a barometer of a general manager's success? Why would that be the final straw?
You know what this reminds me of? The on-the-rocks relationship saved by a great night out. You've been thinking about breaking up for a while, every night there's a fight, and as a last-ditch effort to save the relationship, you go out to dinner, spend a little too much money, and the romance comes back for a few hours. And, because you're scared of being alone, you're comfortable together, and your lease doesn't end for six months, you use those few hours of romance to justify another three months of misery.
We've all done it, and that seems to be where Michael Bidwill is heading now.
But, you should never evaluate a romantic relationship based on weekends or holidays. And, you should never evaluate your general manager based on home games against the NFL's most dysfunctional teams. Myles Garret almost killed Mason Rudolph, Baker Mayfield called out the team's training staff, Freddy Kitchens was caught wearing a "Pittsburgh started it" t-shirt, and skill position players for the Browns have continually asked opposing teams to trade for them. In a league that rewards stability like no other, the Browns came into State Farm Stadium as the most unstable team in the league. Of course the Cardinals won.
General managers are big-picture, 30,000-foot-view planners. Because of that, they should never be evaluated based on one single game. Evaluating a GM should include the draft, free agent signings, salary cap management, and coach selection. If Michael Bidwill is using one Browns game to evaluate Steve Keim, he's not interested in an honest evaluation. He's interested in an excuse to keep Steve Keim around.