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Arizona Cardinals hire Steve Keim as GM

The Arizona Cardinals’ search for a new general manager has ended, as the team has tabbed vice president of player personnel Steve Keim for the post.

“As I went through the process over the last week or so of evaluating the field of candidates, speaking to people, both inside of our training facility and outside, I became more and more convinced that Steve Keim was the right man to become the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals,” team president Michael Bidwill said Tuesday.

Keim has been with the Cardinals organization since 1999 in various capacities including scout, director of college scouting and director of player personnel. During the last two NFL offseasons, Keim has been a target of other teams seeking new general managers. Keim was a favorite for the Jacksonville job before the Cardinals hired him, but he knew where he ultimately wanted to be.

“Me and my wife talked, my family talked, and this is where we wanted to be all along, and I made that clear to Michael Bidwill from the start,” Keim said at his press conference. “You go on these trips and you interview with other teams — it’s a great learning process and the two things that I’d say, that I probably learned the most was when I landed in Phoenix, I realized this is my home and I’m a Cardinal at heart.”

Keim’s first charge will be helping the organization hire a new head coach. Ken Whisenhunt was fired following a disappointing 5-11 campaign that included a nine-game losing streak. It was the Cardinals’ third straight non-winning season following two NFC West championships and a trip to the Super Bowl.

After that, Keim will spearhead the Cardinals’ efforts to revamp an offense that ranked last in the NFL in total yardage and 31st in points scored. Keim said finding a quarterback that can jump-start the offense is paramount.

“The bottom line is getting consistency out of that position,” he said. “Kevin (Kolb) has done some good things, he’s shown some flashes. That being said, the consistency and the durability are questions. That’s something we’re going to address with the new head coach and that’s something that’s obviously at the top of our list.”

The search for a new general manager began December 31 when the team parted ways with Rod Graves, who had led the Cardinals’ personnel department since 2003. The team suffered through a 5-11 campaign in 2012, which led to the front office shakeup.

“In 1999, Rod Graves took a chance on a young scout,” Keim said. “His guidance, his friendship, it’s something that I’ll always appreciate.”