The Cardinals losing to the Rams last night wasn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill playoff loss. It was a rejection of what the Cardinals have been building for the last three years.
Sure, the Cardinals won 11 games and challenged for the NFC West down to the wire but the season was still a major failure. Don’t take my word for it, just ask JJ Watt.
Massive failures aren’t fixed by keeping the status quo. Massive failures don’t fix themselves with patience. Massive failures require immediate and significant changes.
The underlying problem of this Cardinals team has been its flawed leadership. Kliff and Kyler both have deficiencies in the same area and its not helping either one of them get better in their respective roles. Steve Keim has made some successful, important decision in his nearly decade on the job but he’s also failed at building a culture without Bruce Arians.
They need to confront the truth of their team not hide behind the deception of a 10-2 record or postseason appearance.
The truth is, they don’t have anyone currently leading this team that actually knows how to lead the team.
The Cardinals needs big, bold change in their leadership.
The Arizona Cardinals need to hire Jim Harbaugh.
I know that sounds crazy but hear me out: Harbaugh is everything that Kliff isn't for this team. You want someone who isn't going to look terrified in every post game press conference? You want someone who won't be afraid to offer some tough love to Kyler Murray? You want someone who brings an immediate identity to this team and leads from the front?
You hire Jim Harbaugh.
The Cardinals need to urgently act to change the trajectory of Kyler's career before too many bad habits or bad moments transform what is still undoubtedly the potential for him to be a great QB. They can't afford to wait another year because its what's fair for Kliff Kingsbury. They need to take action now before the Raiders outflank them and hire Harbaugh. Would you want to coach Kyler Murray or Derek Carr?
Don't you think Harbaugh would be chomping at the bit to coach again in the NFC West against the 49ers twice a year?
Harbaugh comes with his own baggage. He’s often described as difficult. His track record at Michigan isn’t spectacular. But he also built a juggernaut in San Francisco and played in three NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl. He transformed Colin Kaepernick into a breathtaking playmaker, something no other coach was ever able to duplicate.
Jim Harbaugh is exactly the change in leadership the Cardinals need right now.
Michael Bidwill and the Cardinals need to stop trying to copy the Rams and start trying to borrow heavily from the Baltimore Ravens. John Harbaugh has built a tough, physical NFL team based on a punishing ground attack and a disciplined defense. Why not do the same in the NFC with the other Harbaugh?
The Cardinals didn’t just hit a bump in the road in Los Angeles on Monday night; they crashed through the guardrail and are headed off a cliff.
All they have to do to save their franchise is let Jim Harbaugh grab the wheel.