The way Eno Benjamin was released from the Arizona Cardinals is nothing new. It’s a byproduct of a dysfunctional culture led by head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s reign has comprised of several former players voicing their overall displeasure about the organizational culture as a whole. Patrick Peterson and Chase Edmunds are two notable players who couldn’t wait to get out of town, with Peterson also having choice words regarding general manager Steve Keim.
Chandler Jones, the Cardinals star pass rusher for a half-decade, jumped ship to the Mohave Desert to play under Josh McDaniels of all people. We can go on and on about players that general manager Steve Keim could not keep, and more than a few haven’t had the kindest things to say about the Cardinals culture. Ultimately, the buck stops with Kliff Kingsbury.
Arizona Cardinals culture completely dysfunctional under Kingsbury
After spending all summer raving about Eno Benjamin and his overall improvement, Kingsbury unceremoniously cut the team’s most productive running back this season. A local boy, it’s easy to see why fans rallied behind Benjamin since he came to the Cardinals as a seventh round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But why cut a guy who you said was supposedly one of the most improved players on the roster? Makes no sense.
And what about Greg Dortch? Remember him? The smallish Dortch was arguably the Arizona Cardinals offensive MVP in Weeks 1-3 before he disappeared off the face of the Earth. A social media rant from Dortch warranted more playing time in Weeks 7 and 8, where he logged 55 snaps. In Weeks 9 and 10, that number has dropped to seven.
While you can argue Dortch’s role diminished with Rondale Moore’s return, it made zero sense to return the hot hand to the bench in favor of what was then a mystery in Moore. While Moore has looked good in recent weeks, it still doesn’t wipe away the blemish that Kingsbury benched one of the offense’s most productive players. Just watch, Dortch will be wearing another uniform in 2023.
Overall, the departures of several key players throughout the last few seasons should have warranted red flags over the way Kingsbury (and Keim) runs this team. Cutting the team’s most productive back this season was a move of complete and utter nonsense. As was the benching of Dortch.
Letting key players sign elsewhere, and for them to say what they have about the organization, should be an embarrassment to Michael Bidwill. This dysfunction has been going on since following the 2020 season. And until that dysfunction ends, don’t expect the Cardinals to be winning football team for long stretches.
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