Arizona Cardinals: Year Three Of The Steve Keim-Bruce Arians Regime

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The Arizona Cardinals are starting year three of Steve Keim as general manager and Bruce Arians as head coach

What general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have brought to the table in their first two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals in their current positions is a lot more than what was brought to the table in the previous 25 seasons in the desert.  Now we get to see how they handle year three of their administration.  The Cardinals are 21-11 in the Keim-Arians era.

By all accounts everything seems fine so far and no indication that the train is coming to a halt.  It is full steam ahead after treading water on a 2014 season that despite the number of injuries suffered by the Cardinals, they still managed to finish 11-5 and go to the playoffs.

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The phrase “next man up” was brought up a lot last season.  The Cardinals lost their top quarterback to an ACL tear.  They lost their backup quarterback to a concussion.  They lost their top running back to a sports hernia after he already was hobbled all season by a foot injury.  They lost their top defensive tackle.  They lost their starting punter.  The list goes on and on.

You can thank two men for keeping it all together, Keim and Arians.  Keim consistently brought quality people in to take the place of those injured.  Arians consistently made the right call in terms of who would play where.  Arians should also be given a lot of credit for putting together a fine staff of assistants.

When Arians brought in Todd Bowels as defensive coordinator, even I was skeptical.  He was coming off a not to shiny season with the Philadelphia Eagles.  Ray Horton was thought highly of by many Cardinals fans.  Turns out, Arians knew exactly what he was doing and now Bowels was so good he’s gone off to be the head coach of the New York Jets.

Arians and Keim were always confident in the team last season.  That never waned, at least not publicly.  Many times they did it without being goaded or prompted to do so.  That showed the true genuineness of their words.  Was everyone doing the the job they needed to?  No and that is the other great thing about Arians.  He is honest.  If you aren’t performing, he won’t sugar coat it and tell you everything is fine.  Look at what he did in yanking quarterback Logan Thomas from the starting role in week 17 after just one practice.  Get the job done or move out of the way for someone who can.  Of course as it turns out quarterback Ryan Lindley did alright in week 17 but was a disaster in the playoff game.

Now what about 2015?  What will that bring?