Thoughts from Newsmakers Week, Day 2: Bidwill and Edwards visit
Newsmakers Week 2018! It’s the ninth straight year and 10th overall on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. Every day this week I’ll give you a quick rundown of my thoughts on the comments of each guest throughout the week.
ArizonaSports.com is the place to go for a more complete rundown of the exact quotes from each newsmaker.
Sometimes things not said are more powerful than things that are said. Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill never said Larry Fitzgerald was returning for 2018. Since he told us to “relax,” you have to believe he thinks Fitzgerald is coming back even though he never said it.
Arizona general manager Steve Keim was already under contract for 2018. The Cardinals had their own team option available through 2019. Bidwill didn’t need to do anything for two more years. It’s a strong statement to potential free agents, potential scouts and to the fans that Bidwill chose to offer a contract extension so soon before it was needed.
As it comes to the quarterback, Bidwill continued the strong mantra regarding the team’s aggression. I admit, I have a wait-and-see attitude on this. The Cardinals hit a home run soon after hiring coach Bruce Arians and promoting Keim when they traded for Carson Palmer. I understand Bidwill’s conviction that Keim has been able to do it once and will again. At the same time, we’re talking about the single hardest position to fill in North American sports. As you hear repeatedly in financial commercials, “past performance may not be indicative of future results.” There’s a fine line between benefit of the doubt and blind faith.
The Godfather of Phoenix gave us the inside info on the Basketball Hall of Fame, USA Basketball, his relationship with the Philadelphia 76ers and GCU. None of those comments went as far as the stress he showed when he spoke on the Suns. He spoke about the struggles — other than the D-backs — of our local teams. I asked him about the degree the Suns are losing (eight 40-point losses in Suns history; four in 49 years and four this year). He said he gave birth to this franchise so he checks the scores and standings for the Suns before the Sixers. He will always love the Suns and he hates what’s happened. He did say he hates it for the people that work for the team that are still there since he hired them but mentioned not many of those people are left.
Totally infectious. I met Coach Edwards early in his tenure as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. I loved talking to him then and he hasn’t changed. There is absolutely nothing fake with Herm Edwards.
I really liked his description of how the recruiting responsibilities are set up. Position coaches routinely have other assistants check out film on players they want to recruit. It’s different to have an entire staff meeting on each player so every assistant coach hears straight from that position coach what he wants in a player.
For some reason, it’s been very difficult for a few listeners to understand that you can root for people without “being on the train.” Other than Frank Solich, the head football coach of Ohio University, there is no one in college football I’m rooting for more than Herm Edwards. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m not paid to root. I’m paid to take everything I hear and run it through a filter of 25 years in the business and give my opinion on it. As the program was explained to me, the hierarchy begins with ASU president Dr. Michael Crow, runs through Ray Anderson, down to a personnel staff that answers to the AD and then to the head coach before it matriculates to the assistant coaches. I don’t think that flow chart will work in college football. I think ASU will struggle to get the best players and, therefore, struggle to win. Remember, second place in the Pac-12 South isn’t good enough, according to the athletic director.
I have no problem admitting that I’m rooting for myself to be wrong. I want to see ASU be successful. I think the world needs more people like Herm Edwards. Rooting against Herm Edwards is like rooting against the 1980 Olympic Hockey team versus CCCP. No one meets Herm Edwards and roots against him.