Five Things to Love About the 2014 Arizona Cardinals

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Aug 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians looks on during the second half against the Houston Texans at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

5.  The Off-Field Personnel

Bruce Arians is still the coach, which is probably good for a couple of wins by itself.  He’s an excellent strategist and knows how to get production out of his players. He has built a rapport with his players as a likable guy, but also has little tolerance for any nonsense that distracts the team from performing as best it can. Great coaches balance being tough with being liked, and Arians has found that stride.

On the opposite end of the ball, Todd Bowles remains as the man behind the defense. He had big shoes to fill last season, replacing Ray Horton, who made the Cardinals defense a force to be reckoned with.  Bowles continued that tradition, and the Cardinals were the top dog in run defense last season, allowing only 84.4 rush yards per game. Bowles is creative with blitz packages and knows when to use what personnel. While he has less to work with, his presence will be significant.

Last, there’s GM Steve Keim, who assembled the group that’ll take the field for Arizona. Keim has been impressive in his two years as a GM. He has chosen well in both of his drafts, and has avoided keeping or adding unreasonable deals. There are few if any players on the Cards roster that are excessively overpaid, which is a great thing for the franchise. If any changes need to be made in-season, Keim will make them, and his work assembled a solid roster for the approaching season.