The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Cardinals Need To Be Patient

You're sick of it. I'm sick of it. We're all sick of it.

The fact these statements could apply to roughly 77 different current events is indicative of where we are right now.

But what I'm talking about is the Cardinals losing.

Currently, the Cardinals are 3-2 so its really quite pleasant, relatively speaking. Their three wins are against two of the worst teams in football in Washington and the Jets and their third win is against the most injury ravaged team in the league in San Francisco. That doesn't mean those wins count less it just means those wins haven't quite satisfied most.

Even when the Cardinals are winning, they have lost. After surviving three uncomfortably close quarters against the green hole of awfulness in the Jets, the Cardinals put the pedal down and cruised to victory by three touchdowns.

But then we found out this week they officially lost their best pass rusher, Chandler Jones, for the rest of the season with a torn biceps. I'd advise Chandler take my path of biceps maintenance and just not have any but you know what they say about free advice.

Immediately Cardinals fans turned to each other in a panic trying to figure out how to replace Chandler. Sign Clay Mathews? Trade for a disgruntled player off a bad team? Sign Le'Veon Bell to just do something?

About the only choice the Cardinals really have right now is to move Isaiah Simmons to OLB. It's where he should've been from Day 1 in my book. And now with a season ending injury to Jones, if Simmons can't be a part of that solution, he's going to officially be part of the problem.

But before you stomp your feet and demand the Cardinals outbid the Jags for some journeyman 2nd round castoff of the Ravens and Titans or offer up picks to see if Washington wants to unload one of their pass rushers or try and reunite with Markus Golden, think about this: the draft picks are more valuable than the players.

The Cardinals already are missing their 2021 4th rounder. Last season they traded a 5th rounder so Kenyan Drake could help them finish 2-6 and then pay him $7 million. Meanwhile the depth across the roster is nonexistent and their payroll isn't getting any cheaper.

So here's my advice; just be patient.

The Cardinals are in Year 2 of their development. They just went through puberty last year with Kyler Murray settling in as a franchise QB. This year, they are firmly in their awkward phase. A few years from now, we'll look back on pictures of this roster and recoil in horror that this team was this awkward. But it happens to every team thats trying to sustainably go from worst to first. You have to just eat it.

Just like your awkward phase and my awkward phase, you don't really know how awkward it is until later. I remember buying novelty t-shirts at Spencers Gifts thinking it was the ultimate form of rebellion. The Cardinals think having a substandard offensive line is okay. I remember trying every over the counter acne medication to try and not feel so self conscious. The Cardinals are trying Andy Isabella as a viable option to cover up their lack of weapons.

They'll get through it. We all do. And when they are on the other side of their awkwardness, they'll look back laughing at how hopeless it all felt. The key is to minimize the long term damage and grin and bear it in the short term.

If the Cardinals can stay competitive in the NFC playoff picture, if they can avoid blowouts and a rash of injuries, someday when they walk into a room, everyone in the NFL will take notice.

It's just going to take (more) time.

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