For much of the season, the NFL and its players have been trying to work towards support to players’ concerns about social issues and create a social justice partnership/initiative. Recently, the league agreed to donate $90 million while teaming with players toward those goals. With owners meetings currently underway, ESPN’s Jim Trotter reported the tentative working groups for the initial social justice meeting between the league and the players will have a decidedly Cardinals flavor.
Among the players and former players expected to take part are three ex-Cardinals: Anquan Boldin (who, along with Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, has been at the forefront of this work from the players’ side), Josh McCown and Aeneas Williams (who was tapped by the city of Ferguson to help heal that area after the unrest there in 2014.)
On the owners’ side, one of the representatives is Cardinals president Michael Bidwill. This too is not a surprise. Current Cardinals have been pleased with how engaged Bidwill has been with them this season on this subject. It is obviously a hot-button topic this year with the NFL and many fans, and working toward results — rather than rhetoric — is important.
Tags: Aeneas Williams, Anquan Boldin, Josh McCown, Michael Bidwill
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Steve Keim had looked at all options when David Johnson first got hurt, and that included research on Adrian Peterson. But the push to trade for the veteran running back didn’t come until last week, when Keim said he “picked up the phone and it worked out pretty quickly.”
The “why” of the deal wasn’t complicated.
“I think it’s pretty simple,” Keim said during his appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7. “At the end of the day, it made us better. The one thing I am committed to do as the General Manager, and I know Michael (Bidwill) and B.A. (Bruce Arians) is committed to do, we’re not going to sit on our hands if we think we can get better.
“It doesn’t mean we always make the right decisions. I’ve certainly made my mistakes here. But the one thing I’m going to do is I’m going to swing. To me, you can never hit a home run if you don’t step up to the plate and swing. I owe it to the organization, I owe it to the fan base, and that’s the mindset I’m always going to have.”
It was interesting to hear Keim, who mentioned at least a couple of times the “mistakes” he has made as a GM. And as good as Peterson was Sunday, he wasn’t proclaiming the move the end-all-be-all.
“Hopefully it would add a spark to the offense,” was Keim’s thought process. “More than anything, I think we created balance.”
It also helped morale, Keim said.
“It was about igniting a spark and creating an enthusiasm throughout the building, which was infectious the moment we did it on Tuesday,” Keim said.
— Keim said he thought what was overlooked Sunday was the return of the left side of the offensive line. It was going to be difficult, Keim reiterated, no matter who the running back was with all the injuries. Earl Watford already looks like he’ll settle in at right guard, but it was left tackle D.J. Humphries and left guard Alex Boone who showed what impact they could have.
“For the first time this year, we saw five guys up front playing in unison,” Keim said. “I thought D.J. was excellent. We’ve always know he can run block. His ability to roll his hips and finish at the point of attack is something to me that sets him apart from a lot of other tackles. He and Alex on several of those ‘deuce’ blocks created five- and six-yards of run lanes for Adrian.”
Keim also praised the perimeter blocking of the wide receivers that helped Peterson.
— Keim said there was a lot of discussion with team president Bidwill about Peterson, both on and off the field (including, it stands to reason, the year-long suspension Peterson had after child abuse accusations.) Keim said as with every player, the decision-makers talk through every part of a player, on the field, off the field, in the locker room and in the community. “Both of us were comfortable with that,” Keim said.
— Keim was asked, if he had been GM and not just in the front office in 2007 when the Cards were drafting, if he would have drafted Peterson at No. 5 (The Cards took tackle Levi Brown; Peterson went two picks later.) “You can go back and say that about a lot of different players,” Keim said. “I was not the general manager and I’ve certainly made enough mistakes in the position I’m in now. I’m just trying to take every day, every year and get better at my craft. Hopefully I can put a product on the field that fans can be proud of.”
— About the defense, which allowed a big second half after the Cards built a 31-0 lead before holding on, 38-33: “There is something to be said about momentum,” Keim said. “Part of that momentum we created on offense was a good thing. Now we have to figure out why the momentum issues are happening to us on defense.”
Keim said the defense played well in spurts, but they need to rally better after giving up a big play. (An aside, the Bucs still converted 50 percent on third downs, which continues to be an issue for the defense.) Keim praised Corey Peters, Frostee Rucker and the work of cornerback Tramon Williams. Keim echoed Arians’ thought that Williams should get more playing time. Keim also said safety Antoine Bethea (three picks in three games) doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves.
— Keim said he is confident cornerback Patrick Peterson (quad) will be able to play in London against the Rams.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Alex Boone, D.J. Humphries, Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim
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It was the last regular schedule day at #CardsCamp Wednesday (as well as the last open practice.) There is a morning practice closed to the public Thursday, and then training camp is (mercifully) over. Last year, the last regular practice had visitors — the Phoenix Suns. This year, there was also a special visit — Govenor Doug Ducey, who arrived with team president Michael Bidwill and talked with Bidwill through the length of the workout.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald actually left practice at one point (the setup of practice left the starting offense and the starting defense on the sideline for extended period of time while the other side of the ball worked) to say hello to Ducey and to threaten to give Bidwill a hug despite being sweaty as hell by that point. (That, like tackling, is a favorite thing for Fitz. I speak from experience.) Later in the practice, Fitzgerald brought David Johnson over for an introduction. Then Fitzgerald had another post-practice conversation with Ducey. Fitz understands how to make all the connections.
— CB Tramon Williams did not practice, apparently taking a rest day. RB Kerwynn Williams sat again with a sore foot, after it had been stepped on.
— At one point, S Budda Baker went down after a play and hobbled off with the assistance of head athletic trainer Tom Reed. But Baker turned out to be OK and came back to practice.
— Fitz made a spectacular diving one-handed catch on the sideline. Tight end Gerald Christian made a great leaping TD catch in the back of the end zone, and fellow tight end Ricky Seals-Jones made an equally impressive grab over (literally) linebacker Philip Wheeler. Wide receiver Krishawn Hogan made an improbable catch with CB Brandon Williams in a perfect spot.
— One day left.
Tags: Brandon Williams, Budda Baker, Doug Ducey, Gerald Christian, Kerwynn Williams, Krishawn Hogan, Michael Bidwill, Philip Wheeler, Ricky Seals-Jones, training camp, Tramon Williams
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When the Rams left St. Louis, they also left a void in the community in a couple of places. In one such case, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill stepped in, donating $10,000 to the St. Louis chapter of the National Football Foundation so it could hold its annual banquet to honor local high school football players.
Now, Bidwill is being honored himself, for the gesture. He will be recognized at the Musial awards — named for St. Louis Cardinals baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. The awards banquet is in St. Louis Nov. 18.
“Michael Bidwill’s actions embody the goodness and decency we seek to celebrate with the Musial Awards,” St. Louis Sports Commission president Frank Viverito told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “This was something he certainly did not have to do and did not seek credit for. In light of everything, he sets a perfect example of what it means to be a ‘good sport.’ ”
Just the other day, Bidwill — seen below with Cardinals (and Rams) Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams this past week at the Hall of Fame game — was helping another person with St. Louis ties — rescuing the stranded family of Kurt Warner so they could get to Warner’s Hall of Fame party in Canton.
Tags: Aeneas Williams, Kurt Warner, Michael Bidwill, Stan Musial
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Kurt Warner is being inducted into the Hall of Fame Saturday. But tonight, he is hosting his induction party in Canton, near the Hall of Fame. One problem — his large family was having trouble getting to Canton.
Warner’s family/traveling party of 13 got stuck in Chicago after weather issues canceled their flight. Warner even put out an SOS of sorts via Twitter trying desperately to find a solution. The solution came, not from Twitter but from Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill.
Bidwill, who himself landed in Canton late Thursday afternoon bringing a Cardinals contingent to the game and Saturday’s induction, ended up sending a plane to Chicago to pick up the Warners. UPDATE: And they made it to the party just fine.
— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) August 3, 2017
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) August 4, 2017
Tags: Hall of Fame, Kurt Warner, Michael Bidwill
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As minicamp wraps up today with a final practice before the veterans scatter for the summer, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said in terms of signing a veteran to help the roster, options are still on the table.
“(Team president) Michael (Bidwill) and I talked about six to eight players, who are still on the street, who could potentially come in and help us,” Keim said in an appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7.
Keim didn’t get specific, either in name or position. But he noted the obvious, based on Keim’s past veteran signings in this regard: It’s not just about a scheme fit or need, it’s also about price. The Cardinals see a value in these signings, and even if a player intrigues them, they have weighed the cost-benefit. They are only going to play “x” amount for any particular player, and they won’t blow their salary measurement out of any perceived need.
(To clarify — the Cards won’t sign as many as six or eight. That’s just the number of players that are on the radar. I’d guess some play the same position, so if one signed, the others are out. As usual, I’d anticipate one or two Keim camp specials at most, barring injuries.)
We’ve talked about this before. Maybe a cornerback makes sense (that’s the position I’d look at first). Maybe a guard if Evan Boehm doesn’t keep moving forward. Maybe a running back to fill out the room, depending on what Andre Ellington and/or Elijhaa Penny do. But to think there won’t be a signing or two around/into training camp just doesn’t do the history of Keim any justice.
Tags: free agency, Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim, training camp
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Michael Bidwill, in New York to be there when the Cardinals’ Amazon/NFL Films series “All or Nothing” won a Sports Emmy Tuesday night, also did a couple of media interviews while there. At one point with Adam Schein, the Cardinals’ team president was asked about the status of the team’s decision about recently reinstated linebacker Daryl Washington.
Bidwill said Washington had some personal things he was taking care of out of town the following weekend after the draft, so it was this week where the Washington situation became more of a Cardinals’ focal point, even though it’s been a couple of weeks since Washington’s reinstatement.
“I don’t see this as a 30-minute meeting,” Bidwill said. “There is a lot that needs to go into this and our analysis, because we haven’t seen him in three years. There is a lot more process that we are going to go through than just having a meeting. I think that everyone has to be comfortable to put him back on the field.
“We’re going to go through our process and hopefully have an answer, one way or the other, here soon.”
Bidwill said he didn’t want to get into specifics about what the team might need to hear from Washington.
“I will speak generally, we need to know that this isn’t going to happen again,” Bidwill said. “That he had accepted responsibility for what happened and what he’d done, and there were a couple different things that happen. … I just think, generally, we need to know players accept responsibility, have addressed their issues in a therapeutic way in which we know professionally they are going to be good to go moving forward and that we are going to be comfortable having them around.
“Also, when you have a player off the field for three years, that’s a big deal. … We’ve got some more process to go through.”
Tags: Daryl Washington, Michael Bidwill
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Couple of worthwhile projects put together by our excellent video department are finding their way to the public, so if you get a chance, take a look. The first is “Groundwork” a series of short web videos that will be rolled out from now (the initial piece features D.J. Humphries) through training camp. The synopsis, from our VP of broadcasting, Tim DeLaney:
“Groundwork is about the business of getting better from an individual’s perspective. Each episode will focus on a player and what he is doing to prepare for the season – mentally and physically – in the weight room, the film room and on the field. We’ll track the progress of the highlighted players through training camp.”
The other will be the Spring Tailgate TV special, shot the night of the third day of the draft and airing Saturday at approximately 8 p.m., following NBA playoff coverage on ABC 15. Hosted by Paul Calvisi and Ron Wolfley, the show features draft analysis from GM Steve Keim and team president Michael Bidwill, as well as talk about the revamped defense with linebackers Chandler Jones and Karlos Dansby.
Tags: D.J. Humphries, Groundwork, Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim
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It’s a weird morning for me. For the first time in more than a decade, I am not at ASU, getting ready to take part in Pat’s Run. I did not participate in the first race, but I had run every one since then until today, and that had been the plan (I have a bib and everything). But a trip to spend some time with my brother – which I don’t get to do enough – came up, and sometimes, life happens.
I would’ve liked to be there, especially this year. The race falls on the anniversary of Pat Tillman’s death 13 years ago. I remember that morning – I was still a Cardinals beat writer for the East Valley Tribune – vividly. I was in the kitchen, bathrobe on, toddlers eating breakfast on a Friday when my cell phone rang. A producer I knew a little from a local station was calling to ask if I had heard that Tillman had been killed. I, like everyone, was stunned.
It was the day before the draft – that’s when the draft was still Saturday-Sunday, and the Cardinals would select Larry Fitzgerald with the third overall pick the next morning – but everyone gathered at the Cardinals’ Tempe training facility. It was supposed to be that last day before the draft, when guessing who got picked where was the topic, and instead, the organization was crushed. Former Tillman teammate Pete Kendall was asked to speak to the media, along with Michael Bidwill and Anthony Edwards. Meanwhile, Dennis Green was around but he didn’t look like he knew quite what to do – he was hired after Tillman was long gone; he had no personal connection unlike almost every other non-coach still in the organization.
These are the kind of things that are going through my head every year as Pat’s Run starts. I’m sorry I’m going to miss it.
Tags: Anthony Edwards, Dennis Green, Michael Bidwill, Pat Tillman, Pat's Run, Pete Kendall
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Recently the Cardinals went to work out Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, a session that included team president Michael Bidwill. There was much speculation about what it might mean to have the man at the top of the food chain there when it comes to the Cards’ interest. Bidwill (who is a pilot who sometimes flies football people to these workouts, it should be noted) said it doesn’t necessarily mean much.
“It’s funny, because each year I go to the Scouting combine and I let the personnel people do their thing,” Bidwill said Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7. “Steve (Keim) and his team, with the input of Bruce (Arians) and his coaching staff. They do a great job. But I attend all of those scouting activities. I (also) attend private workouts. I attend them every year. Some of them, people report on, some of them people never report on them. We really don’t announce which ones I go to and which ones I don’t. I go to them as my schedule allows because I love it, I love being around and learning from our scouts and coaches.
“Patrick Mahomes is one we weren’t able to schedule at the combine, and that was an important one because again, all of the top prospects I meet. Whether it is at the combine, at our training facility or, on occasion, a private workout. I’m going to be attending many more private workouts, I’m not sure all of them will be leaked out to the media, but don’t read anything into that.”
Bidwill added that the Cardinals haven’t even organized their draft board yet (I can attest to the meetings not yet having started, since the parade of coaches and scouts has yet to start in the draft room a few feet from my desk). This doesn’t mean Mahomes wouldn’t be someone that could intrigue the Cardinals. But as I have told some who have asked about it already, Bidwill’s presence alone doesn’t mean the Cards are honing in on a target.
Tags: draft, Michael Bidwill, Patrick Mahomes
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