Bidwill: Cardinals moving forward during GM Steve Keim’s suspension
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said the team is moving forward in a business-like fashion in the wake of general manager Steve Keim’s suspension after he pleaded guilty to extreme DUI.
The remaining front office staffers are staying in their lanes for Keim’s expected five-week suspension, Bidwill said Friday after Cardinals players opened 2018 training camp with a conditioning test.
“We can pretty much predict Steve’s decisions here with great accuracy. We’re going to try to make the decisions Steve Keim would make,” Bidwill said. “We feel there has been no drop-off here from his absence.
“The only issues that I’m really weighing in is some decisions on player signings. I’m trying to just move along in a very business-like fashion.”
Arizona, which by rule has not had contact with its general manager during his suspension, has continued roster churning.
This week, the team signed safety Tre Boston, plus defensive ends Arthur Moats and Jacquies Smith.
Keim was arrested in the early hours of July 4 on suspicion of DUI. His blood alcohol content registered at .19, according to the Chandler Police Department’s forensic report, and he pleaded guilty at a Chandler court on July 17, the same day the GM began his suspension.
Arizona also fined Keim $200,000, a total that will be donated to the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
“It was not a mistake, it was not an accident. He made a conscientious decision to drive after he’d been drinking,” Bidwill said Friday. “This day and age, there’s no excuse to drink and drive. People can be hurt or killed. It’s something, there’s no excuse. I’ve had the conversation with our staff, with our players, and to talk about what the expectations are.
“Because of his position and because of all the circumstances, I feel like it was an appropriate response and punishment,” Bidwill added. “Again, I factored in everything and wanted to have a swift, strong response.”
Keim will not be allowed to return to work until he has “completed comprehensive counseling and evaluation programs as well as mandatory DUI education,” the Cardinals said in a statement about his suspension. The general manager will also “participate in community programs related to DUI awareness.”
Keim will not return to the team until he has completed those requirements, regardless of whether five weeks have passed since July 17, Bidwill said Friday.
Meanwhile, Bidwill is sitting in on every meeting and receiving all transactional communications while his general manager is away.
“Guys have been doing their jobs,” first-year head coach Steve Wilks said. “Everybody’s circling the wagons, coming together, lots of communication. Michael’s heavily involved in the decision-making, making the final decision.
“Things are going smooth. We’re not sitting back and waiting, twiddling our thumbs.”
Added Bidwill: “(On a) personal level, I care about Steve a lot, but I have to do my job. It was important that I do it. For me, it was important that he know I’m not messing around and these are our rules and we’re going to follow them. And if you don’t, there are going to be consequences.”