The Arizona Cardinals fell short of their goals in 2013, but with 10 wins -- including one against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Seahawks in Seattle -- they certainly got many around the NFL to take notice of what is happening in the desert.
A guest of Doug and Wolf's on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday, former NFL coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy had good things to say about the team.
"They're very close," he said. "And you saw that in the game they went up there and won in Seattle. They have the formula, they know how to play Seattle and San Francisco."
The Cardinals went just 1-3 against those two teams last season, but were competitive enough in the losses to make you think the gap between them is not particularly wide.
"They've got a great defense; they're fast and aggressive, just like Seattle is," Dungy added. "They're very, very close.
"It reminds me of when I was in Tampa early on and Green Bay was the cream of the NFL, and we played Green Bay a couple of close games and our guys knew that they were getting close and it was just a matter of continuing to build and not long after that, Tampa was hoisting the Super Bowl trophy. So I think you're going to see the same thing."
Of course, Dungy was not in Tampa when the Buccaneers finally broke through to win the Super Bowl in 2003, as he had already been replaced by Jon Gruden. However, Dungy did win eventually win a championship a few years later when he coached the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl XLI victory.
Out of coaching since 2008, he believes the Cardinals have a good leader in Bruce Arians.
"I love Coach Arians and the way he has kind of built this team," Dungy said. "So it's going to be really, really fun to watch them next year compete in this division that's probably the toughest in football."