After loss to Raiders, Cardinals GM Keim puts players on notice
Preseason or not, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim isn’t happy with his team.
At the least, he’s feigning concern and using a 33-26 loss Thursday to the Oakland Raiders as an opportunity to pull urgency out of Arizona’s players.
The Cardinals were outgained in yardage 231-12 by the time the first-string offense led by rookie quarterback Kyler Murray left the field in the second game of the preseason. Arizona fell behind 26-0 after Murray took a sack for a safety midway through the second quarter.
And Murray, who went 3-of-8 for 12 yards, wasn’t the focus of Keim’s concern.
“I think the biggest concern would be when the takeaway … the best thing I saw all night was my daughter Sloane, who did a fantastic job with the junior cheer (team) at halftime,” Keim said Friday while joining Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “She looked good out there.
“The mindset I have, and I think our players need to adopt this even a little more, is we’re not the Arizona Cardinals right now. We’re 90 men who are trying to win a job.”
The general manager read a short-list of players he considers Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Chandler Jones and Murray will be on the 53-man roster come the regular season.
Until then, Arizona’s players had best be flying around like their job is on the line.
“There are a number of players that maybe in my mind have gotten too comfortable or think they’re going to make this team, maybe aren’t playing with the level of urgency that I would like to see,” Keim said, reminding that the Cardinals are first in the waiver-wire priority order.
“If we have to claim 15 guys and replace those players, we’ll do what we got to do.”
Keim added that Arizona’s attention to detail is lacking. It showed Thursday as Arizona was flagged 14 times for 108 yards.
But the general manager also saw bad habits in the form of players standing too tall, ending up in the wrong gaps or lacking urgency.
The game might have been a carry-over from Arizona’s last practice, an intense outdoor session Tuesday that saw Murray struggle, according to the GM.
“I thought it was our worst practice of the preseason. I thought we looked sloppy. I thought it was Kyler’s worst day,” Keim said. “Really I think the way we practiced Tuesday was the way we played last night.”
— Keim addressed the release of defensive end Darius Philon, an offseason signing who was cut after he was arrested on assault charges last weekend.
“The one thing about Darius — and I’ll leave it at that — is that prior to coming here, there was no history of off-the-field issues,” the GM said.
— Confirming a report that Arizona was interested in free agent defensive tackle Corey Liuget, Keim clarified that the former Charger will visit with the team on Saturday.