Last week, Steve Keim talked about the sky falling after the loss to the Patriots. This week, the Cardinals’ General Manager played off the theme, noting that despite getting into the office before the sun was up Monday, “there didn’t appear to be a cloud in the sky.”
Such is the reaction after a 40-7 win Sunday. The vibe tends to be better. Mostly, Keim — during his appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7 — saw positives, including the play of cornerback Marcus Cooper. It doesn’t hurt that Cooper was acquired for a seventh-round draft pick in 2018, a cheap price even if the Bucs’ performance ends up being Cooper’s best. Keim said Cooper was high on the Cards’ potential trade list in the preseason. (That includes not only scouting players, but also guesstimating what players teams might be willing to give up or cut at some point.)
Cooper has the length the Cards like and a “feel for the game,” Keim said.
“He’s just a savvy guy,” Keim said. “I don’t want to anoint him as the next coming of Deion Sanders quite yet, but at the same time, very excited with the way he played.”
— Keim said he was “still extremely high” on rookie cornerback Brandon Williams. He thought Williams played well Sunday in limited defensive snaps. “I have no concerns that Brandon won’t develop, but still, it’s nice to see competition at the position.”
— The only reason rookie DT Robert Nkemdiche was inactive Sunday was because of the ankle tweak he suffered late last week in practice, Keim said. He added Nkemdiche should be back this week.
— Right tackle D.J. Humphries played well, Keim said, and added that right guard Evan Mathis was the “epitome of a pro” for coming back from his foot/ankle injury.
— Keim liked the game nose tackle Xavier Williams played, as well as fellow nose tackle Corey Peters. Keim said moneybacker Deone Bucannon had an excellent game.
— Early in the game, Keim admitted he wanted the pass rush to get home more often, but felt that the pressure eventually started getting to Bucs QB Jameis Winston even without sacks, given how many passes of Winston came out high. “I thought Chandler (Jones) did a nice job being disruptive, even though it didn’t show up in the sack column until later in the game,” Keim said. “I think they got into Jameis’ head enough.”
Tags: Corey Peters, D.J. Humphries, Deone Bucannon, Evan Mathis, Marcus Cooper, Robert Nkemdiche, Steve Keim, Xavier Williams
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