In October 2021, the Arizona Cardinals were the class of the NFL, having started the season 7-0 before miscommunication between Kyler Murray and former wide receiver A.J. Green ended the Redbirds winning streak. But even then, Arizona was still hot, improving to 10-2 before the infamous downward spiral began.
But earlier that season, you could have claimed Kliff Kingsbury was one of the league’s best young coaches and that Steve Keim was building a magnificent team around Murray. Following the Cardinals 10-2 start, they have gone 5-17 since, while Kingsbury and Keim are no longer with the team.
The Cards have been subjected to nothing short of a horrendous play on the field that Murray was no exception to, and you can argue their news off-the-field has been even worse. Despite Murray’s regression in 2022, however, he’s still the main attraction in the desert for at least one more season.
Steve Keim’s record with the Arizona Cardinals speaks for itself
While it appears Steve Keim and Kyler Murray have traded words with one another, though if you ask me, this has been taken way out of proportion, the fact is you have one man who, while he hasn’t had the greatest career for a number one overall pick, is working to change the narrative surrounding him. Meanwhile, the other man is left to look back on his subpar stint with the Arizona Cardinals, that included a record of 80-80-2, three playoff appearances, and one playoff win.
Sure, Keim has his Executive of the Year awards, but we also need to step back and ask ourselves whether the success he oversaw from 2013-2015 was him or the magic of head coach Bruce Arians. I say this because following Arians’ departure after the 2017 season, Keim’s teams, for the most part, tanked.
Between 2018 and 2022, the Cardinals finished 31-50-1, with one playoff appearance, zero playoff wins, and zero division titles under coaches Steve Wilks and Kliff Kingsbury. While I’ll admit Murray, to date, also has a losing record, it will be interesting to see if he has success in the Ossenfort/Gannon era.
But this much is clear: While Murray faces an uncertain future with a general manager and head coach that didn’t draft him, at least he has a chance to turn things around and show us that he can be a pivotal part of this Arizona Cardinals rebuild. And that’s better than any chance Keim has at this point, whose bleak track record and poor decision making since 2018 may ultimately keep him from obtaining the title of general manager for at least the foreseeable future.
Source: Steve Keim: Kyler Murray is under a lot of pressure, because he’s got a lot to prove by Charean Williams, NBCSports.com
(Historical data provided by Pro-Football-Reference)