Keim is already on a very hot seat
Here’s the order of culpability for the Cardinals disastrous start: Steve Keim, MikeMcCoy, Steve Wilks and Sam Bradford. Let’s start with Steve Keim. Here’s my tweet form yesterday’s game explaining why Keim is already on a very hot seat.
After two straight playoff-less seasons, a very questionable coaching hire, poor recent draft pick track record, bad free agent decisions and an extreme DUI right before training camp? Yes, Steve Keim is on a very hot seat. https://t.co/NJrVlI8Ta5— Jody Oehler (@radiojody) September 16, 2018
Also, a few tweets about Steve Keim’s draft track record:
Haason Reddick, 13th overall pick in ’17, played 3 defensive snaps (14 %) for #azcardinals on Sunday. Deone Bucannon, 1st round pick in ’14, played 25 (35 %)— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) September 17, 2018
Is now a good time to talk about how only 1 of Steve Keim’s first 16 draft picks is still on the Cardinals and how 8 aren’t even in the NFL any more?— Ralph Amsden (@ralphamsden) September 17, 2018
Free agency, draft production, on field results are all currently trending in the wrong direction in addition to his personal conduct at the outset of training camp. Keim time is about to take on a whole different context if the Cardinals season continues on its current trajectory.
1. The Steve Wilks hire should be questioned, despite what some Cardinals fans think.
Problem with a lot of coaches is when things go wrong, they double down on process. The Cardinals offensive process is fatally flawed and unless Steve Wilks can admit that they have no chance.— Jody Oehler (@radiojody) September 16, 2018
Both of Wilks coordinators have made dubious Cardinals debuts. Both imported schemes look like bad fits with the current personnel. Al Holcomb had never been a coordinator prior to joining Wilks in the desert and Mike McCoy had been fired twice in a twelve month span prior to being hired. When you’re the head coach, you get the credit when things are successful and you assume the risk of the coordinators you hire. I’m not condemning the hire, Wilks can’t wave a magic wand with his personnel but the early results should invite some real questions.
I’d sit Rosen until Week 7 at home versus San Francisco with the bye in week 8.
2. Is it time to start Josh Rosen? I understand the temptation and the logic of starting Rosen but I would hold off. Until this offense (more on this in a moment) can fundamentally prove it has even a glimmer of hope of succeeding, you’re setting Rosen up to fail. You’re paying Bradford, he’s healthy, the playoffs are not on the horizon - I’d sit Rosen until week 7 at home versus San Francisco with the bye in week 8. The “right now” should still take a backseat to the long term at QB for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals offense is a bunch of cavemen while the rest of the league is mastering space travel.
3. The Arizona Cardinals have scored 6 total points in 8 quarters of play in the 2018 season. The biggest culprit? An offensive scheme so rooted in the past, relatively speaking, Mike McCoy may as well hand out leather helmets to his team on game days.The Cardinals have an outdated offense being run by an outdated QB at a time when offensive evolution is accelerating at a historic pace in the NFL. The Cardinals offense is a bunch of cavemen while the rest of the league is mastering space travel.
The Cardinals rightly paid David Johnson as one of the best offensive weapons in the league at RB but are using him like a glorified fullback.
4. Part of the problem offensively for Arizona is the mis-usage of David Johnson. Running plays are bland and almost exclusively designed to be inside runs. There has been very little play calling to take advantage of of Johnson’s elusiveness in space or speed on the edge. His receiving talents make him arguably the Cardinals most dangerous receiving weapon yet other than some Tecmo Bowl-style screen passes or dump offs, he isn’t running routes as a receiver. The Cardinals rightly paid David Johnson as one of the best offensive weapons in the league at RB but are using him like a glorified fullback.That’s a huge problem.
5. The Cult of Sam Bradford is a lonely, lonely place these days. Phoenix sports media members who openly championed Bradford as a quality QB and someone capable of leading this team are backpedaling faster than Bradford ever could avoiding a rush.
Cardinals WR’s not named Larry Fitzgerald have accounted for five catches and 31 yards on the season. Cardinals WR’s not named Larry or Christian have accounted for zero catches for zero yards.
6. Perhaps I was a bit harsh on the Cardinals offense and its lack of innovation. The Cardinals may in fact be completely redefining modern offense in football and just skipping a few steps in offensive evolution: the Cardinals are phasing out the WR. Now that’s innovation! With Christian Kirk’s four catches for 27 yards, Cardinals WR’s not named Larry Fitzgerald have accounted for five catches and 31 yards on the season. Cardinals WR’s not named Larry or Christian have accounted for zero catches for zero yards.
Robert Nkemdiche, 29th overall in ’16, might have had his best day as a pro. Five tackles, disrupted early. #AZCardinals— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) September 17, 2018
7. The miracle of the first quarter: Robert Nkemdiche making plays! A 6 play drive! Two first downs! Bradford completing a pass that went for double digits! The Rams broke a sweat! Yes it all happened in real life Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles during what in hind sight appeared to be a miraculous first quarter of play for the Arizona Cardinals.
The negligence of upgrading the secondary is unequivocally the responsibility of Steve Keim.
8. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A CB with a limited resume is struggling opposite Patrick Peterson. This time it’s Jamar Taylor. Its become an annual tradition for Steve Keim and Co to let some poor ill-equipped CB get emasculated. Did you know that since Steve Keim has been GM, he has never spent higher than a third round draft pick on a CB? In fact, he’s only drafted 3 CB’s TOTAL as GM and one (Harlan Miller) was quickly converted to a safety. After Antonio Cromartie, the Cardinals have tried Justin Bethel, Brandon Williams, Marcus Cooper and now Jamar Taylor. The negligence of upgrading the secondary is unequivocally the responsibility of Steve Keim.
9. Bright spots? Benson Mayowa had two sacks. Budda Baker was decent. Mason Cole successfully snapped the ball. Chandler Jones made a play knocking a pass down. The game was over in under 3 hours.
The Cardinals pride is now on the line.
10. What’s next? After a pair of embarrassing performances and at a time when the Cardinals pride is now on the line, if a fellow first year head coach (Matt Nagy) comes into Arizona’s house with Mitchell Trubisky and beats Steve Wilks and the Cardinals, it’s going to be time for meaningful change.