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Keim loves Cardinals’ balance, nitpicks aside

Posted by Darren Urban on October 20, 2014 – 8:13 am

Balance is what Steve Keim liked the most out of the Cardinals’ win Sunday in Oakland — “I can’t remember the last time we ran it five more times than we threw it” — though the General Manager noted during his weekly appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports, “it wasn’t perfect.”

Every week Keim is asked about his concerns. He talked about not wanting to beat the “dead horse” of seeking more of a perimeter edge rush. “I’d like to see us put teams away a little earlier, not make it so dramatic,” Keim added. “But that’s being nitpicky.” Indeed, the Cardinals are 5-1, so they have to be doing something right. (As Adrian Wilson once infamously said during a live radio interview, “(Expletive), it’s hard to win in the NFL.”)

— A week after saying he was hoping cornerback Patrick Peterson had more focus, Keim said he thought Peterson played well on Sunday. There were two penalties, although Keim, without saying it, clearly wasn’t all that fond on the flag Peterson was given for pass interference. “I thought Pat played excellent, played with urgency,” Keim said. “I was really, really pleased with how Pat played.”

— Keim said he thought rookie defensive lineman Ed Stinson had his best game, and added fellow rookie defensive lineman Kareem Martin did some good things too. Also getting praise from Keim were linebacker Sam Acho and safety Tyrann Mathieu, who impressed Keim with some looks-like-2013 play against the Raiders.

— Running back Stepfan Taylor not only helped create confidence in his play for the coaching staff, Keim said, but probably gave himself some confidence too. That’s important when talking about having help for Andre Ellington.

— Carson Palmer’s poise in the pocket caught Keim’s eye, crystallized by Palmer’s improvised roll-out and throw to Ted Ginn on third-and-long. Keim thought Sunday showed Palmer’s strength and velocity was returning to the shoulder/arm.

— As for the potential Palmer contract extension, Keim reiterated how the Cardinals take a three-year view on the entire roster. And Palmer isn’t the only one the Cards are considering an extension for. “We are looking at others who have expiring contracts,” Keim said.


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33 Responses to “Keim loves Cardinals’ balance, nitpicks aside”

  1. By Marlin on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    contracts for Palmer, Acho, Williams…………….and maybe Fanaika……….

  2. By LadyBird04 on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Glad to see Taylor finally getting some game action, props to Ellington for “giving” the runs to him. It is so nice to see Palmer back on the field – he exudes calm in a sea of turmoil on the field and yet still scrambles to get a ball to Ginn (glad he didn’t drop it). Palmer also seems to be walking the bench and congratulating different players on both side of the ball. Leadership! I know fantasy players aren’t happy, but he hit 9 different receivers. Which ones will defenses have to cover? Isn’t that just so nice to be able to flummox opposing defenses and keep them guessing where we are going with the ball.

    On a funny note, bless Dockett for adding a smile to all Cards fans with his happy face to the Raider fans.

  3. By T.Stone on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    It’s kind of nice to get the GM’s thoughts on players and games. I don’t remember Graves being so vocal. Speaking of Graves, looks like he will be getting another shot at GM with the Jets as soon as Percy Harvin blows up that locker room. Thank you J.E.T.S. Jets Jets Jets. Good win. Now get back home and get the Eagles. I heard they taste like chicken if you toast them just right. .

  4. By T.Stone on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Breaking news from experts… The Niners lost because they have a bunch of Injuries and players out. Cardinals are winning because of our early schedule. Ok. now I understand. SMFH

  5. By superbowlcards on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Yes Sir, and those experts (can’t believe some are actually paid money to do a job a bonobo could do)! Do these experts realize Denver pretty much put the fortywhiners out to pasture pdq, neither team had starters in the 4th quarter! Someday the respect for the Cardinals will come, someday!

  6. By kauaicardsfan on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Another great win !!!

    Darren is it just me or has Ted Ginn look lack luster or playing it a little to safe on punt returns? A few games now he has called for a fair catch and no one was even within 10 yards of him?

    But as the saying goes from the Raiders ” Just Win Baby” !! All the little things don’t look so bad when you win !

    GO CARDS!!!

  7. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    kauai —

    RE: Ginn

    Ginn does seem to play it safe a lot, but he’s always a threat when he doesn’t fair catch.

  8. By BirdsSTC on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    As I was listening to the radio this morning, they were talking about MVP candidates and it dawned on me. Not only do the 5-1 Cardinals not have an NFL MVP candidate, I don’t think you could name an MVP for the team, especially with Palmer only playing in half the games so far. And that’s a great thing in my opinion. This is a T-E-A-M.

  9. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Every week Keim is asked about his concerns. He talked about not wanting to beat the “dead horse” of seeking more of a perimeter edge rush.

    Stevie my man, that is your J.O.B. You are the only person who can draft, hire, fire, and trade for players.

    Last year, all we had was an aging OLB who had a come back year, yet you skipped on pass rushers in FA and the draft.

    The lack of pass rush that you are seeing (and is obviously bothering you) is a direct result of your decisions.

    The OLB’s along with the inside LBs, Cromartie’s spot, and QB are all issue that you must address this offseason or we will be beating more dead horses next year. (Fitz and Docket contracts are a given)

  10. By Dynosoar on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    T. Stone,

    “Breaking news from experts”

    yeah, the experts cleared that one up all right. Well as to the “easy early schedule”, we’ll just have to see what their excuse for our great play is after the next five games. That’ll test our mettle.

    ps. I left a thought for you on the last post regarding Ellington and Taylor.

  11. By rick on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Amazing job Cards!!! We are officially back to being the number 1 rush defense in the NFL despite all injuries. This team is awesome! Way to go !

  12. By Duane Spencer on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    I’ve been wondering about Ginn myself. Kind of think he might be just biding his time and hoping to catch a gunner or two napping thinking he’s going to faircatch this one also.

  13. By BeastMode on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, any word on Palmer regrowing the mustache?

    On a more serious note any trade talk coming up with the deadline?

    Thanks.

  14. By Darren Urban on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    BeastMode —

    RE: Trades

    Keim will never say never, but I haven’t heard any murmurs.

  15. By Andy Kw on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Guys we probably won’t resign:
    OLB John Abraham, CB Antonio Cromartie, TE Rob Housler, RB Jonathan Dwyer, OLB Desmond Bishop, DT Tommy Kelly (Might be resigned)
    Cut: WR Larry Fitzgerald, DT Darnell Dockett (cut and resign), OLB Lorenzo Alexander, S Eddie Whitley

    Resign: QB Carson Palmer (2yr $12M), DT Dan Williams (3yr $11M), K Chandler Catanzaro (3yr $3.5M), LS Mike Leach (2yr $2M), OT Bradley Sowell (2yr $1.5M), OLB Sam Acho (2yr $3M), OLB Thomas Keiser, (2yr $2.5M), ILB Larry Foote (2yr $4M, Minter has not proven himself and Foote will play opposite Washington), DT Alameda Ta’amu (2yr $1.5M)

  16. By Dynosoar on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG,

    as someone who’s cart has always been before the horse, yeah it was… but I’ve been looking at a couple things and based on what I’m seeing, these next two games may not be as tough as it’s being presented.

    Here’s something, the only loss the Eagles and Cowboys have is to the 49ers, whom we beat.

    Our loss was to Peyton’s Broncos and they annihilated the 49ers. San Francisco was never in the game and we were, with our second and third string QBs.

    This will be an exciting two weeks of games.

  17. By Scott H on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    I was also glad to see Taylor getting more time and being more in the game. This team needs to have someone else besides just Ellington making some plays out of the backfield. Up until now, Taylor has been more noticeable for his absence and lack of impact than anything else. Nice to see that may be reaching a turning point! Always room for another playmaker! AND we need to not be running Ellington into the ground by mid-season.

    Wow, what a Sunday…( despite my previous gripes about the offense, concerns for the next 2 opponents )…we saw the Seahawks lose just as our game was kicking off…The Cardinals were putting another one in the win column by about 7:00 or so….and the Broncos were taking down the 49ers as I was nodding off to sleep last night. Does it get any better than that????

    Now, THAT’S the way to wake up to a Monday morning!

  18. By georgiebird on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Cards were favored to win on the road and followed thru with an 11 point win. In the NFL, that’s impressive.
    The Cards ability to run the ball in the 4th qtr was the highlight of the game.
    Good teams are capable of running the ball late to both eat up the clock and more importantly score a TD.
    Anybody can win a game as an underdog but when you can win the games you’re supposed to win- that’s progress.

  19. By William Barry on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    a couple of observations:

    1. we are 5-1 because of play of minter, cromartie, Carlson, Floyd, ellington, Taylor. and more, DESPITE INJURIES. 2. We were balanced vs the Raiders. Its good to Taylor getting more touches to give ellington a break. Taylor ran great on Sunday
    3. Okafor, Acho, and Minter are really making plays.
    4. I said this last year, the Broncos were the best team last year, and should have beat the Seahawks. The hawks are overrated and its showing this year.
    5. Floyd is really a great player. Carlson is playing really well too.
    6. We have too many weapons, and our Defense is now ranked #1 against the run. Go cards!!!!!!!
    P.S. Kilgore for the Niners is going to be out…..This will help the Niners lose more games.

  20. By Coach K on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    I really liked the way the young defensive line stepped up their play this week. Really valuable experience to gain as we progress in the season. Will pay off in the end. Cardinals 34- Colts 24 Superbowl 49. Prediction.

  21. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    T-Stone and Dynosaur,

    Yeah, I don’t get that about our schedule. The combined record of the Cardinals’ opponents is 19-21. And that includes the fact that we are 5 of those losses… so their combined record in games not against us is 18-16. Outside our division we’ve faced two really good teams (Denver/SD), two bad teams (Oak/Wash), one somewhere in the middle (NYG)… within the division we faced SF, who everyone expected to be (and still may be) a playoff team.

    Despite what some experts say, we are starting to get some respect. We are facing a 5-1 team this week, and yet Vegas installed us as 2 1/2 point favorites. When was the last time we were favored against a 5-1 team?

  22. By Scott H on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K –

    If I may…if we’re going to be in the SB, can it be against someone other than the Colts? Andrew Luck is just so good, it’s hard to even put it in words. AND he might still be a couple of seasons away from being as good as he’s GONNA be when he’s at his best.

    I swear, I hate the Colts. Think about it….they go from all those years with Peyton Manning to walking right into being in position to draft Andrew Luck. In between those glorious eras, they had ONE season that was so bad it GAVE them the draft position they NEEDED to draft Luck. And if that ain’t “luck’ then I don’t know what is.

    Something about that just seems entirely too un-fair. Having seen the way Luck is coming along, I swear, I wish the Cardinals had lost EVERY DAMN GAME that year. It would have been SOOOO well worth it.

  23. By superbowlcards on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Tells me one thing,

    Peyton Manning is the best QB ever to play the game, or will be by the time he is hangs up the cleats!!
    Darn sure wish he would have picked Arizona! I love Carson Palmer, but c’mon, Arizona was a finalist for Peyton Manning!! I wonder if we ever really had a chance at him? If Arkansas was here I think it would have been totally different story! Manning would have been a Cardinal.

  24. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Haven’t had the time to chime in much this year due to coaching commitments, but I just wanted to say I think Coach Arians has the team in the right position at this stage of the season. Being able to run the ball the way we did was huge. We dominated that game. A win is a win. Doesn’t matter to me if its last minute or convincing. Just keep getting the “W’s” Philly and Dallas should be good tests, but I think we can win both. Go Cards !!!!!!

  25. By georgiebird on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    The Cards have had many pleasant surprises this year especially with one and two year players.
    But nothing has been bigger than BA & SK going with an undrafted rookie kicker over a seasoned veteran.

  26. By Chris Lewis on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Kudos to Andre Ellington, what a Class Act! How many players would give up the rock to a fellow RB for a chance to score a TD? He’s got my respect.

  27. By Richard S on Oct 20, 2014 | Reply

    Tough games ahead. Let’s hope the Cardinals are ready for it. On the bright side, the last time they played Seattle, they won and the last time they played the Niners they won, although the media still won’t say the Cards are the best team in the division. Here’s how my system rates the teams following this week’s action. The system had 58 games right following the previous weeks game which was 2 ahead of Boomer Esiason on inside the NFL, tied with Ed Reed who also had 58 and 3 behind Phil Sims who had 61 right. This week the system picked 11 games correctly out of 15 or 69/106 for the year. This week the Cardinals whom the system said would win by 11.72 points only won by 11, so the formula takes the point difference of 0.72 divides by 10 and drops the Cardinals in number rating by 0.07 points. Since there are 31 other teams in the league also on the move, Dallas and Green Bay who covered their point spreads move ahead of the Cardinals while Cincy drops from the #5 rating to #13 since they lost by 27 points instead of the 1.7 points predicted. So the Cards move to the #12 slot from #11. The idea for such a system came from when I was a kid and the Dunkel Index of College Football teams used to be in our Jeff City paper. Next week, according to the system the Cards are predicted to win by 1.53 points. To move up in the point rankings that’s the spread they need to beat. Neutral field rankings follow: Add 3 points to home team for predicted differential point spread. 1. Denv 101.76 2. Seattle 98.15 3. Indy 97.81 4. NE 97.11 5. Balt 96.49 6. San Fran 96.42 7. KC 95.93 8. Phil 95.84 9. Gbay 95.82 10. SD 95.48 11. Dall 94.45 12. Az 94.37 13. Cincy 94.05 14. NO 93.64 15. Det 92.47 16. Carolina 91.15 17. Mia 90.45 18. Rams 89.39 19. Pitt 88.92 20. Atl 88.81 21. Giants 88.76 22. Buff 88.13 23. Chi 88.09 24. Minn 87.39 25. Cle 86.19 26. Hou 85.73 27. Jets 84.71 28. Tenn 83.3 29. Wash 83.06 30. Tampa 82.6 Tied for #31. Oak and Jax both at 79.79

  28. By clssylssy on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    It’s great to be 5-1 and on top of our division however…if we are to be a legitimate contender for the Lombardi we are going to have to start putting up TDs and converting those beautiful turnovers into something more than FGs. As important as the defense is in winning games, it’s the offense who needs to pull their weight rather than depending on the defense and special teams,
    and when you look at the Cards, nobody in the NFL besides the vikings (11), Raiders (11) and Jags (12) Bills (12) and Titans (13 (all AFC teams but Vikes)have scored fewer TDs than the Cards (14) . The Cowboys (22), Packers (25) Eagles (22) are setting the bar high and give us an idea of where we should be if we are to be a serious contender.
    Someone else commented that this Raiders game seemed like preseason and I have to agree because it seemed we were using it to “try out”new things and use more of our talent rather than being so predictable and risking the loss of some of our most valuable assets. BA ran the ball more (I think) because that is where we need some serious adjustments; the talents there but has to be used creatively because we don’t have a pounder.
    It seems that nobody is who we thought they were from last year and while the Eagles have had their bumps they are still very good with some explosive weapons.
    They are young (comparatively) and fast and explosive but this year they too are relying heavily on their defense and special teams. Chip Kelly may be young but BA is wiser and has the voice of experience on his side, along with the wise voices of our older Yodas. This game is totally winnable with the body of talent on our team and will be good preparation for playing the Cowboys who are playing better than the Broncos.
    At this point, it would be foolish to count any of our division rivals out as they seem to come alive more toward the end of the season as they get back key players who have been out for injuries and suspensions.
    Any word if Dockett is expected back at all this season? He looks GREAT, and seems to be in better shape than I can ever remember him, and his return would be a gift. It will come down to play calling, precise execution (not giving away yards in stupid penalties) managing the clock and finishing strong. LET’S GO OUT AND OWN THE EAGLES. Show them that the Redbird’s nest is not up for the taking!

  29. By Dynosoar on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H.

    If we’d have gotten Luck that year, either he’d not be as good because he wouldn’t have had BA to coach and mentor him

    Or

    We wouldn’t have BA now.

    I’m good with how it turned out. I believe our coaching staff is second to none. How many teams are losing because of the loss of a key player or two (49ers just lost Kilgore and people are already proclaiming them out), but not us. We lose a player and keep winning. Can’t wait to watch Dallas face our #1 defense against their only real weapon, the run.

    I don’t think we’ll be facing the Colts, I’m banking on either the Ravens, Broncos or Chargers. But the Colts do look impressive and their uniforms are classy looking, like ours; except our white uniform is sweeter with the red on the shoulders.

  30. By Scott H on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Dynosaur –

    OK. I’m not sure it’s a certainty that if Luck is here, then BA isn’t. And I really don’t think anything was going to stop Luck from being as good as he is. Seriously. What QB with THAT much talent was ever stuck on a bad team for long???

    And if you are thinking that the running game is Dallas’ ONLY real weapon, I have to respectfully disagree. Dez Bryant may still struggle with his maturity at times, but on the field? He is as dominant a WR as there is in the game right now. And the way they ARE running the ball right now only makes him more dangerous because as long as they can stay with the run, other teams have to commit to stop Murray at some point.. When that happens, Bryant has to be less defended than he might normally be. And that is trouble. Bryant is an absolute stud.

    As always, good to hear from ya.

  31. By Scott H on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    I tend to agree with much of what you said. I’ve said plenty about my concerns about the offense. And my concern is, primarily, that wins against bad teams the last two weeks are making people feel like “Hey, we’re winning, so what’s the problem?” Good point. And part of me is just as inclined to feel that way. But I also believe that winning ( as wonderful as it is ) can “hide” problems. Problems that might not be exposed against bad teams because bad teams often can’t get out of their own way. But against better teams….they may become more apparent. And our own head coach has said so himself, that the offense is not really where he feels it should be. So…it’s not like we’re seeing something that just ain’t there.

    Hey, the next 2 weeks are going to tell us a lot about this team. The Eagles and Cowboys are right there with the Cardinals at the top of the NFC. THESE are the teams you have to beat to stay at the top of the NFC. THESE are the teams you are gonna have to contend with come the post-season. NOT the Raiders, Redskins. So…it’s show time. I ABSOLUTELY believe the Cardinals can win both of these games. But these teams don’t score 13-20 points a game. Our defense is capable of keeping it manageable. But if either team is able to get up in the 31-34 point range, it will be very interesting to see if the Cardinals can keep pace.

  32. By superbowlcards on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Winner of these games get the head to head tiebreaker so yes very important. Clssylssy
    Dockett is gone for season, can’t come back until next season

  33. By italycardfan on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Good evening.
    Excuse me, but compared to a lot of people and a lot of comments, I have a different view on the game that awaits us next Sunday,.
    Come on guys, we’re 5-1 !!!!!!!!!
    We have to worry about the next opponent? I do not believe it!
    We have to respect them, of course, do not be alarmed! In my country, an ancient proverb says: “In the first place are the statistics, in second place are the lies!”
    I agree! Each game has its own story. No game will ever be the same game.
    Different opponents, different games, and different statistics.
    Perhaps for the media are not favorites, but what does it matter. Up to now, I think, we did not play the best football in the world, we could improve in some of the movements of attack, be more pressing to launch opponents plays, it is true, but if we got to this point by playing a footbal discreet, imagine what we could do, if on Sunday, we could blow our full potential. We do not have individual players in head to various rankings from the league but we have a real team, compact, able to assess their own strengths and able to work on situations that can be improved. I think this is important, not the statistics. So, respect for the Eagles, but let’s not forget who we are !!!!!
    Greetings from Italy.
    GO CARDS !!

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