Starting From the Top

Harry

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I’m going to take a look towards next year a piece at a time.

Starting at the top could mean Bidwill. However, I’m only considering people who could be changed. That would not include Bidwill. So this is about Keim. I’m going to give Keim a pass on coaching decisions. MB is heavily involved in these choices, so it isn’t clear to me if Keim would had made different choices. The Cards have a long time “stay in your lane” policy. This means Keim wouldn’t have a role in game plans and possibly in who’s active. So I’m staying with what I know.

Keim’s world is personnel. It breaks down into mostly 3 areas. The draft, free agents and trades. On the latter, it would be hard to imagine a more successful trader. Arguably the top offensive player & the Cards’ top defensive player both came from trades. The Cards clearly came up ahead on both deals. My only fault would be that this year the Cards should have made moves at the trade deadline. This draft will be the most challenging I can remember. I would have taken the sure things. Maybe they didn’t get the offer with which they could have worked. Still that was my preferred time to act.

Most teams are hit & miss on free agent signing. The Cards are no different. Keim has done well on making castoffs work. Arnold, Nugent, Peko, Golden, and K Peterson. The picture has been more mixed on bigger money free agents. Good signing would include Peters, Pugh and Williams who would be wins. Lee, Campbell, Blackmon, Sweezy and Hicks started strong then faded. Garcia, Kennard and Phillips were overvalued. On the whole this performance looks about low average compared to other GMs. What’s missing is a star or two. You’d think they would hit big on somebody.

The draft is a different issue. Murray is a find but he seemed to be a Kingsbury dictate. Here’s the first round list starting in 2013. Cooper, Bucannon, Humphries, Nkemdiche, Reddick, Rosen, Murray and Simmons. Reddick and Simmons show potential but hideous coaching has made evaluation tough. Humphries was slow developing but seems at least adequate. You might call Bucannon adequate but not worthy of Round 1. The remainder are poor selections bordering on useless. That’s quite a few early picks that failed almost completely. The round 2 list contains Minter, Niklas, Golden, Baker, Kirk, Isabella and Murphy. This is a better group than round 1. Baker is a probable star. Minter and Golden were functional. Murphy is marginal. The 3 pass catchers appear to be failures, but they may keep trying with Kirk. Still that’s marginal success in round 2.

In Keim’s early years stars like Johnson and Mathieu were drafted. Since low round draft picks rarely develop quickly it’s too early to call 2019. 2016-18 produced only Edmonds as an impact role player despite the fact others saw significant playing time. It seems either Keim has lost his touch or the Cards’ scouting has collapsed into ineffectiveness.

On the whole the question is has Keim put a personnel group on the field that can win. I have had issues with Murray’s fragility and the coaching he has received. Still they could win with him. The cast of skilled players surrounding him has one star, Hopkins, one good situational player, Edmonds and two marginally effective players, Arnold & Williams. They have only one quality lineman, Humphries. That’s it and that’s clearly not enough. The rest couldn’t start with the Seahawks or the Rams. This is not a winning offense.

On defense the loss of Jones was significant , though despite big brags, he was off to a slow start. Perhaps he was concealing injury. Patrick Peterson has lost a step. Kirkpatrick declined to be mostly ineffective. Murphy was marginal at best. He got back into slot coverage, but was weak for a second round pick. The remainder were just filling space. Baker emerged as an impact player. He still had some coverage issues but was greatly improved. No other safety distinguished themself. Except for occasionally Campbell, no LB looked effective in coverage or locking down the corner on running plays. They seemed constantly confused in zone. Simmons played too little to be evaluated. The line was perpetually injured. Peters played decently, but showed his age. Phillips regressed badly. A couple of players flashed ability, but this was a weak line.

Special teams had no effective returners and an aging punter. I could forgive the surprising Gonzalez collapse.

In the end this group wasn’t good enough. There were too few stars. Beyond Simmons where are the young players who might be expected to take a big leap forward next season? Keim failed and the future looks questionable. If this were his first or second year in the job I wouldn’t be so concerned. He’s established in the job and failed to deliver. He has to go.
 

MadCardDisease

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He’s established in the job and failed to deliver. He has to go.

That is fair, but I think if you say he needs to go then there should be a group of potential replacements that you list. It's easy to say fire someone and then not suggest a replacement.

So who would you consider as a replacement for Keim?
 

AZman5103

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That is fair, but I think if you say he needs to go then there should be a group of potential replacements that you list. It's easy to say fire someone and then not suggest a replacement.

So who would you consider as a replacement for Keim?

Its really hard to know the names of GM candidates. Only a few fans know the names of any other GM's and those are the famous ones that aren't getting fired.

Bidwill should be able to get someone with a decent track record in scouting and team building. They might just be a no - name for most fans.
 
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I agree with the analysis by Harry. But I have been a fan of this team for far too long to believe that Harry's conclusion will happen.
 

Mainstreet

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The two biggest issues I see, Keim is not good at drafting and I think the hire of Kliff Kingsbury was a mistake. I don't trust him to improve the team through the draft and I think going with the current coaching staff is a mistake.

How did we get here? Sticking with the wrong GM. I'm skeptical if this is where change happens but I think this is where it should start.
 

Chopper0080

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That is fair, but I think if you say he needs to go then there should be a group of potential replacements that you list. It's easy to say fire someone and then not suggest a replacement.

So who would you consider as a replacement for Keim?
Ed Dobbs of the Colts is #1 on the list. Plenty more options around the league. There are lists out there.
 

Chopper0080

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And I feel this would be the year to tear it all down. Down salary cap will make a GM coming in make the hard choices financially. It would give the HC an opportunity to evaluate the roster prior to having a ton of cap space in 2022. It would give you two years to evaluate Murray prior to his option year.

All that said, I imagine we are bringing the band back for one last go which is understandable but I have seen little to make me think anything will change.
 

Arz101

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There are so many reasons to keep Keim except win loss record over the last 5 seasons. Should not the record dictate action against Keim?

Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
 

kerouac9

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I guess there's a question of cap and team management that doesn't get wrapped into this analysis. Are our resources well-apportioned?

I think the other open question is whether we have a football operations team that adds value. Our Sports Science Coordinator is two years' out of graduate school. Our football analytics coordinator doesn't even have a bio on the team website. This should be embarrassing — these are areas where the Cards could be developing an advantage against the rest of the league.
 

Reddog

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100% agree. Start with a new GM and let that person make the decision on the coach.
Not going to happen for business reasons. With revenues down so much this year they will polish the turd in 2021 rather than risk losing any sizzle Murray and DHop bring by changing the GM and HC.
 

AZman5103

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There are so many reasons to keep Keim except win loss record over the last 5 seasons. Should not the record dictate action against Keim?

Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk

Im not understanding. The only reason to keep Keim would be trades. If we look at his record he is easily firable. He is not one of the few GMs in the NFL that would immediately be scooped up by another team if they were available.
 

Chopper0080

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The frustrating part is that I feel like everyone on this board started the season thinking we were a significantly better franchise than the Falcons, Lions, etc... and yet, I can't say that we significantly are.
 

AZman5103

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The frustrating part is that I feel like everyone on this board started the season thinking we were a significantly better franchise than the Falcons, Lions, etc... and yet, I can't say that we significantly are.

We are in that we have a young QB who should be able to win games. Their guys are older.

If they nail a trade or draft pick at the position though, I think we are equals.
 

BurqueCardFan

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Keim has made a couple of great trades but overall I have been on board with firing him ever since his DUI run in. His draft and FA moves have not warranted keeping him, especially with his other transgressions.
At the beginning of last year, I had concerns about both Murray and Kingsbury being brought in. Murray I was not sure how his abilities/size would translate in the NFL. Kingsbury I was worried that a coach who had never accomplished anything in college and was fired, how does that translate into a winning recipe in NFL.
Murray erased my concerns with his performance. I think he has some mental and toughness issues to overcome but his abilities can make him a star.
Kingsbury, not so much. He has not shown anything remotely above average to the NFL game.
 

football karma

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I’m going to take a look towards next year a piece at a time.

Starting at the top could mean Bidwill. However, I’m only considering people who could be changed. That would not include Bidwill. So this is about Keim. I’m going to give Keim a pass on coaching decisions. MB is heavily involved in these choices, so it isn’t clear to me if Keim would had made different choices. The Cards have a long time “stay in your lane” policy. This means Keim wouldn’t have a role in game plans and possibly in who’s active. So I’m staying with what I know.

Keim’s world is personnel. It breaks down into mostly 3 areas. The draft, free agents and trades. On the latter, it would be hard to imagine a more successful trader. Arguably the top offensive player & the Cards’ top defensive player both came from trades. The Cards clearly came up ahead on both deals. My only fault would be that this year the Cards should have made moves at the trade deadline. This draft will be the most challenging I can remember. I would have taken the sure things. Maybe they didn’t get the offer with which they could have worked. Still that was my preferred time to act.

Most teams are hit & miss on free agent signing. The Cards are no different. Keim has done well on making castoffs work. Arnold, Nugent, Peko, Golden, and K Peterson. The picture has been more mixed on bigger money free agents. Good signing would include Peters, Pugh and Williams who would be wins. Lee, Campbell, Blackmon, Sweezy and Hicks started strong then faded. Garcia, Kennard and Phillips were overvalued. On the whole this performance looks about low average compared to other GMs. What’s missing is a star or two. You’d think they would hit big on somebody.

The draft is a different issue. Murray is a find but he seemed to be a Kingsbury dictate. Here’s the first round list starting in 2013. Cooper, Bucannon, Humphries, Nkemdiche, Reddick, Rosen, Murray and Simmons. Reddick and Simmons show potential but hideous coaching has made evaluation tough. Humphries was slow developing but seems at least adequate. You might call Bucannon adequate but not worthy of Round 1. The remainder are poor selections bordering on useless. That’s quite a few early picks that failed almost completely. The round 2 list contains Minter, Niklas, Golden, Baker, Kirk, Isabella and Murphy. This is a better group than round 1. Baker is a probable star. Minter and Golden were functional. Murphy is marginal. The 3 pass catchers appear to be failures, but they may keep trying with Kirk. Still that’s marginal success in round 2.

In Keim’s early years stars like Johnson and Mathieu were drafted. Since low round draft picks rarely develop quickly it’s too early to call 2019. 2016-18 produced only Edmonds as an impact role player despite the fact others saw significant playing time. It seems either Keim has lost his touch or the Cards’ scouting has collapsed into ineffectiveness.

On the whole the question is has Keim put a personnel group on the field that can win. I have had issues with Murray’s fragility and the coaching he has received. Still they could win with him. The cast of skilled players surrounding him has one star, Hopkins, one good situational player, Edmonds and two marginally effective players, Arnold & Williams. They have only one quality lineman, Humphries. That’s it and that’s clearly not enough. The rest couldn’t start with the Seahawks or the Rams. This is not a winning offense.

On defense the loss of Jones was significant , though despite big brags, he was off to a slow start. Perhaps he was concealing injury. Patrick Peterson has lost a step. Kirkpatrick declined to be mostly ineffective. Murphy was marginal at best. He got back into slot coverage, but was weak for a second round pick. The remainder were just filling space. Baker emerged as an impact player. He still had some coverage issues but was greatly improved. No other safety distinguished themself. Except for occasionally Campbell, no LB looked effective in coverage or locking down the corner on running plays. They seemed constantly confused in zone. Simmons played too little to be evaluated. The line was perpetually injured. Peters played decently, but showed his age. Phillips regressed badly. A couple of players flashed ability, but this was a weak line.

Special teams had no effective returners and an aging punter. I could forgive the surprising Gonzalez collapse.

In the end this group wasn’t good enough. There were too few stars. Beyond Simmons where are the young players who might be expected to take a big leap forward next season? Keim failed and the future looks questionable. If this were his first or second year in the job I wouldn’t be so concerned. He’s established in the job and failed to deliver. He has to go.

based on this, Kliff was a genius to get them to 8-8
 

football karma

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i think the long run has proven that Keim is the epitome of "replacement level GM" -- perfectly NFL average

the inherent randomness of the NFL will get him to a run of two or three double digit win seasons, a run of double digit loss season, and then lots of 7-9,8-8,9-7. Given that the NFL is designed to push/pull teams to 8-8, it basically says that Keim neither adds GM value nor subtracts from it.
 

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The frustrating part is that I feel like everyone on this board started the season thinking we were a significantly better franchise than the Falcons, Lions, etc... and yet, I can't say that we significantly are.

Bottom 10 franchise since I’ve been following them in 88. They’ll put it all together every 10 years or so but they’ll never make the decisions to have a sustained level of success. That’s why Keim is still here and when he’s eventually replaced it won’t be with an Ed Dobbs it will be a promotion from within.
 

Proximo

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Adrian Wilson is going to be our next GM.

not sure I would really expect much change if the scouting department remains the same.

to me the coaching is a far bigger issue.
 

BullheadCardFan

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That is fair, but I think if you say he needs to go then there should be a group of potential replacements that you list. It's easy to say fire someone and then not suggest a replacement.

So who would you consider as a replacement for Keim?
I read that Schneider (sp) from Seattle may by open to take another GM job.
 

AZman5103

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i think the long run has proven that Keim is the epitome of "replacement level GM" -- perfectly NFL average

the inherent randomness of the NFL will get him to a run of two or three double digit win seasons, a run of double digit loss season, and then lots of 7-9,8-8,9-7. Given that the NFL is designed to push/pull teams to 8-8, it basically says that Keim neither adds GM value nor subtracts from it.

I agree. I think that Kyler is potentially good enough to get you a base level of success with a decent team around him. As long as we are able to pay him, he and a mediocre team and mediocre coach could push for 8-8 every year...much like Deshaun Watson has been.

In all honesty, a decade long level of sustained mediocrity is what we just experienced...for the first time in franchise history. The 20 teens had some good years, some bad, and some average.

Now we have to decide if we can move into a higher tier of "sustained competitive team"...who always seem to have an expectation as a playoff team and usually make it happen. For that you need your QB and you need your HC. I think we have the QB but not the gm and the coach to take the leap.
 

Stout

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That is fair, but I think if you say he needs to go then there should be a group of potential replacements that you list. It's easy to say fire someone and then not suggest a replacement.

So who would you consider as a replacement for Keim?

I don't think you need to have a replacement in mind to say the current GM needs to go. I mean, I'm a fan and know the Cards well, but would be clueless about potential new GMs. That doesn't mean I can't see that Keim Time needs to end.
 

football karma

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I agree. I think that Kyler is potentially good enough to get you a base level of success with a decent team around him. As long as we are able to pay him, he and a mediocre team and mediocre coach could push for 8-8 every year...much like Deshaun Watson has been.

getting the QB right sets the stage for better than 8-8 going forward

the problem I see is that Keim will miss on just enough decisions that the Cards will be the good but not great team for the next 5 years --- good enough to compete for/ make the playoffs; but just enough holes to not get to/ win a Superbowl
 

AZman5103

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getting the QB right sets the stage for better than 8-8 going forward

the problem I see is that Keim will miss on just enough decisions that the Cards will be the good but not great team for the next 5 years --- good enough to compete for/ make the playoffs; but just enough holes to not get to/ win a Superbowl

Honestly I dont even see that level for this team as currently assembled. I see us a tier below that...at "just enough holes to not make the playoffs".

Get a new GM and IMO a new coach and we might be able to get to that level.
 
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