Keim: Johnson update and Chiefs review

Posted by Darren Urban on August 17, 2015 – 8:14 am

Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim, during his appearance on the “Doug and Wolf Show” on Arizona Sports 98.7, acknowledged he has had discussions with the agent for running back Chris Johnson. But as of Monday morning, “there is nothing on the horizon,” Keim said. Johnson was expected to work out for the team. As I’ve said a few times, we’ll see what pans out.

As for Keim’s view of the game:

— He praised a handful of young players for their initial performances: Defensive end Rodney Gunter and linebacker Markus Golden (although he wants to see Golden finish more often), and from the non-rookie side, cornerback Justin Bethel and linebacker Kevin Minter. The latter two are in big years in terms of earning regular position spots on defense.

— As for the first units on both sides of the ball, “I don’t think you could have scripted a better start,” Keim said.

— On Logan Thomas, Keim said he liked the quarterback’s pocket presence. “There are times when he makes some really ‘Wow’ throws,” Keim said. “The question is consistency and I think he played a consistent game.” Keim did note that Thomas completed 11-of-12 passes in the preseason opener last year, so again, it’s about consistency going forward.

— Not surprisingly, he thought tight end Ifeanyi Momah competed and looks like a nice option as receiver, but needs to get better as a blocker in terms of technique since he won’t have the bulk or body type to ever maul as a blocker.

— Keim was happy with the “excellent” play of the starting offensive line and also thought the backup offensive line did a good job. It should, really, since it’s populated with three one-time starters (Sowell, Larsen, Sendlein) and a first-round pick (D.J. Humphries). Keim said Humphries had some technical issues in his first game but showed the physical play and the athleticism the Cards liked when he was drafted.

— Going forward, Keim said there are still many questions open, such as fourth and fifth cornerback, the back end of the wide receiver depth chart, core special teamers. The Cards did come out of the game “relatively healthy,” Keim said.

— As for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald getting munched by pulling guard Mike Iupati on the Cards’ touchdown run — Fitz was blocking a Chiefs’ defensive back when Iupati came in to clean up and looked like he got mostly Fitz — Keim was blunt. “We all know Larry is a tough guy. He’ll stick his face in the fire.”

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29 Responses to “Keim: Johnson update and Chiefs review”

  1. By D on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    CJ2 brings a lot of baggage with him. (shot this offseason in a drive by shooting which the driver was killed) and he wouldn’t play special teams.

    If Kerwin Williams has a good preseason, you would guess that he would make the final 53 along with Ellington and the rookie D. Johnson. That would put Hughes and or Taylor out if CJ2 is signed. I know they like Taylor on Special Teams, should be fun to watch.

    Guessing Keim wants to see how the current roster plays the next 3 weeks, then decide with a workout of CJ2 already done.

  2. By Marlin on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    run game still looks weak. not sure why……great O-line…….they have to get that aspect going.

  3. By jaime on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    back end to the WR group should be Shipley. Hughes is the only power downhill runner in the RB group, hope they keep him.

  4. By D on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Cards have too many good DLine starters right now.
    I know this trade wouldn’t happened, but sending

    M. Shaughnessy to GB for J. Starks RB would benefit both teams. GB needs more help on the DL and we know the Cards could use more help at RB.

    Campbell, Redding, Peters, Rucker, Stinson, Gunter and probably Taamu will make the DLine.

    On the fence to make 53- X. Williams, Mauro and Shaughnessy.

  5. By Eric G on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Thomas easily won the 3rd string battle. Keep sims for the practice squad, but at this point Thomas looks to be the better option.

    I hope the Cards don’t sign Johnson. He doesn’t seen interested in joining the team right now.

    Starters did look sharp and I hope that stays the same. What an upside it was to see them come out and look so great. Hope we see that again.

  6. By gbrim on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Thomas has to prove he can perform consistently. Remember last season’ first preseason game? Thomas looked great, the disappeared, not ready for the NFL yet. Lindley playing proved that. Thomas looked good Saturday—lets see him keep it up now.

    Sims was very impressive running for his life behind the third string o-line. Would like to see him get snaps with the #2 unit protecting him.

  7. By Scott H on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Geez…are we really chasing after CJ right now if we believe things are going to be OK with David Johnson???

  8. By Richard S on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Cards don’t get much PR from the media. Two appearances on Inside the NFL in game against Chiefs, both at Midnite. I had to go to bed at 1:30 and couldn’t stay up to see the second half. I’d record it, but when I record now off of DirecTV all I get is a message saying I need to hookup with HDM1 cables whatever they are. Why don’t the Cards get the respect the other teams get, I mean both telecasts at midnite. You’d think they could put one game on during the daytime.

  9. By Richard S on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    I meant the NFL network, not Inside the NFL.

  10. By D on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    I would also give S. Taylor to GB along with Shaughnessy if need be for Starks…I know we all are thinking about adding another speed back, but Cards need to be able to run through the tackles..

  11. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    If I could have a CJ on our team this year it would not be Chris Johnson. It would be CJ Spiller. Did we not have any interest in him?

  12. By Areg on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    – Richard

    It’s an HDMi cable. Ask any store that sells technological equipment and they’ll hook you up with one and even show you how to connect it to your box. And yes I agree the Cards unfortunately seem to never get any attention

  13. By Scott H on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Richard S –

    RE: Not much PR from the media

    Yeah, I hear ya. But do not despair. I have actually heard the Steve Keim / Bruce Arians tandem referred to more than once recently as the BEST GM / HC combo in the NFL right now. And THAT is some pretty high praise. So…some people are clearly taking notice that this organization has come a long way.

    The thing about some media people ( well, maybe more than just some ) is that they are just plain lazy. In other words, why bother actually looking for something interesting to report on when so many “easy” / sexier stories are right there and require no effort at all??

    For instance, what did you end up hearing more about after this weekend’s pre-season games – how sharp Carson Palmer looked as he comes back from a major injury or Tim Tebow’s debut with Philly? I’m guessing it was Tebow. Why? Definitely easier and ( unfortunately ) sexier for most people. And that is a shame. But….whatever.

    Fact is, when you’re winning games, they CAN’T ignore you, can they? Remember the Thurs night game last year against St Louis when pretty much the whole pre-game angle was ALL about the Rams defense? Then, the Cardinals went out and played BETTER defense from start to finish? After the game, I LOVED the way BA made it a point to let everyone know that they saw a great defense, alright – they were wearing red and white! THAT was a beautiful moment.

    Darren – NONE of this ( about the media ) is directed at you, my friend. You do a great job coming up with very good stuff even when nothing is really going on.

  14. By Scott H on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    JohnnyB/N –

    Spiller is with the Saints right now. We can’t just decide we want him and make him a Cardinal!

  15. By Scott H on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Well, it’s out there and now official that CHRIS Johnson is a Cardinal. And I think this is probably a good move. Who knows how long Ellington will hold up? Who knows what is / will be happening with DAVID Johnson? And after last year, who else on this roster do we have at RB who we know can really offer anything? Stephan Taylor??? Yeah….please. He had his chance and he gave us 3.3 yards per carry. Therefore….I welcome Chris Johnson right now.

    I’m not gonna go out of my way to make excuses for him. He has not done much the last 2 years or so. BUT I don’t think he was in real great situations, either. AND he is only one year removed from his last 1000 yard season. Has also averaged more than 4 yds per carry for 2 of the last 3 years. Hey, the fact that he’s had a few “off” years recently could also point to the fact that he hasn’t had a ton of miles put on him.

    AND – perhaps most important of all – the guy has not missed a game in years! So….unlike entirely too many other players around here right now, he has NOT been injury prone.

    I say give this man a helmet and let him get to work!

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    CJ is signed. I, for one, think it is a great move. Why not add a proven runner to a backfield of unproven runners.

    Done? he ran for 4.3 yards per carry last year with rotating QBs in the mess known as the Jets. He has put up 1000+ yards 6 out of 7 years.

    Meanwhile, the cards, since 1988 when they moved to AZ, have had a player rush for 1000 yards only 5 times.

    I am lost why card fans aren’t more behind this move.

  17. By Dr. G. on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    Well, now that we have a vet coming in at RB, hopefully he can help our painfully anemic run game with Ellington. ((CJohnson)) Finally, Keim and maybe BA see the light.

    I am banking on David Johnson to come in when he is healthy to be our banger. He is 20- 25 lbs heavier than Ellington with very good speed…looks more like Gurley without the dreds that weigh your head down and provide convenient handles for the tacklers. ((Ask Ells about that.!)) Go Cards….

  18. By dkerry5242 on Aug 17, 2015 | Reply

    We only signed CJ to a one year deal. If he proves to be durable and rushes for 1000 yards we could have a tough time resigning him; but I like our running game much better now.

  19. By Eazy E on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    I’m glad we signed Chris Johnson AKA CJ2K! He will ignite our running game because we desperately need it. Hopefully we feed him unlike the Jets and let his talents shine!

  20. By Mike J on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, do you see Keim setting us up for failure? #AZCardsEpicFail2016

  21. By Mike J on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H – Ellington will hold up max 2 games then be out for the most of the season injured again, and they will tell us he may return for a playoff run..

  22. By Big Ken on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    one year deal why not, low risk high reward.

  23. By clssylssy on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    Well, I’m thinking things must be pretty bad and the brain trust is thinking “desperate times call for desperate measures” with an out-of-work CJ sharing in that sense of desperation by agreeing to play for the league minimum and no signing bonus with the only incentives to make $2M is to make the Probowl and rush for 1300 yards (which he hasn’t done since 2010 and would be double what he did last year). While I still think the efforts spent here would be better focused on shoring up our defense (Antonio Cromartie’s replacement) and getting some defensive “consultant” to help the new DC with play calling (Marty Shottenheimer comes to mind given BA’s history with the Chiefs), it seems the house is throwing everything on the offense, when most teams are putting their resources into building brutal and tough defenses.
    When James Bettcher was first appointed DC, I recall assurances that the players knew Coach Boyles defense and would be just fine in essentially coaching themselves. While this may be true for the 1st teamers and veterans, it seems evident that the play calling and teaching of the rookies is in need of a seasoned and experienced mind. If BA can benefit from the services of Tom Moore, it would only make sense that we need Moore’s counterpart to help on the defensive end.
    And, since it would appear that BA has reduced Larry Fitzgerald’s role to that of a blocker, perhaps his skills would be better utilized in teaching the current receivers how to catch the ball?

  24. By Scott H on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    To add to my comments from above related to Chris Johnson, he is only TWO seasons removed from a season during which he gained more than 1,300 yds. So, I don’t get why people are talking about this guy like he has nothing left. Heck, he’s also still on the RIGHT side of 30.

    Also, during the last 3 seasons, he’s played 16, 16, and 15 games, respectively. Again, that is HUGE!

    He has tended to be more of a big play guy than a plow-between-the-tackles guy. OK. Fine. That’s not his fault. But if he can make some of those big plays here….it only helps, folks. Our offense also offers one helluva an O-line and the best QB Johnson would have ever played with. Probably the best WR’s, too. For all these reasons – and the health questions involved with Ellington and the other Johnson – I think this could be a heck of an opportunity for CJ to show he can still get it done.

    And if Ellington is either lost or limited again, we might just end up being damn glad CJ is here.

    On this team, he is suddenly an intriguing comeback player of the year candidate.

  25. By Jim Koch on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    In response to “D” his point about acquiring J Starks is moot now after the signing of C Johnson. I have no problem trying to get something for Shaughnessy but don’t know why you were so high on Starks. He’s decent but I don’t think he was better than what they had even without CJ2K.

  26. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H….I know he’s a Saint. I just wondered if we showed any interest before he became a Saint. I know he has had injury issues but I thought he played well at times in Buffalo. Maybe he will do what another former Bill did when he went elsewhere. You know who I’m talking about.

  27. By Cody Zarr on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    I’m not saying Chris Johnson is done, but anyone who watched the 40 times at the veteran combine and then compared them to their rookie combines can’t get super excited about a guy that old with that much mileage on his legs. Running backs lose the most speed the fastest because they’re constantly getting the crap beat out of them. Lets face it Mr. Johnson doesn’t break a whole lot of tackles and doesn’t excel between the tackles either; so once his speed drops 2 tenths of a second you basically have a guy that is just as slow as every other back on the team only less powerful than every back on the team except Ellington, and even that’s arguable.

    I’m not saying he doesn’t have value, I’m just saying everyone who is throwing a pants party and calling for 1k+ yards is being a little overly optimistic.

    There is a statistical cliff at 27 for running backs.. I’m no NFL historian, but I don’t recall a lot of feel good stories about running backs making these types of comebacks once they’re cut for performance reasons and not for salary. In fact, I can only really think of Ricky Williams, but he retired, and Marcus Allen. Not sure how fair throwing Marcus Allen in there is since Al Davis hated his guts and the feeling was mutual. LT maybe? 900 something yards with the Jets I think at 30 then drastic production drop the season after? You get where I’m going with this. Only the greatest backs to touch a football have kept going after 29/30 and did so with success. Most of these guys we see flashes of greatness and then a fizzle right about 27-29.

    I hope I’m eating my words come the end of the season, but I don’t even see him making the team right now if David Johnson comes back and does decently in pre-season.

  28. By Scott H on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    JohnnyB/N –

    Um…,would that be Marshawn Lynch you speak of? Man….what consequences that trade has had for the rest of the NFC West, huh? Or the rest of the NFL, for that matter! I wish we had taken a look at HIM before that one happened. But as I recall, Lynch had actually kinda started to look like a dud in Buffalo by the time of that trade…hadn’t he? Geez, that seems like such a long time ago, too.

    Anyway, I’m not really all that big on Spiller. Like Lynch ( as I guess I remember him ), he just didn’t become what the Bills thought he would, which is why Fred Jackson has remained so important to them the whole time. Spiller has also been injury prone, hasn’t he?

    Water under the bridge now, my friend. Honestly, I think I am happier with CJ right now than I would have been with Spiller. Time will tell.

  29. By Scott H on Aug 18, 2015 | Reply

    Cody –

    Fair points. But I don’t know about referring to CJ as “a guy that old.” Is he 30 yet? Last I knew, he was 29. Yeah, either way, that is a common age for RB’s to drop off. But it doesn’t necessarily hit everyone the same way. Look at Frank Gore. Just keeps going. And the Colts are counting on him having plenty left.

    And, dude….what the hell is a pants party??? I don’t know what kinda parties you are into, but….that’s a new one on me.

    For now, I will hope for some of the same things you do – that DAVID Johnson is able to get himself together and be a contributor this year AND that anyone doubting CJ right now may be eating their words come the end of the season! 🙂

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