King: No team added impact player on offense, defense like Cardinals

May 5, 2020, 2:32 PM | Updated: 8:30 pm

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98....

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (Matt Bertram/Arizona Sports)

(Matt Bertram/Arizona Sports)

It’s hard to argue the Arizona Cardinals don’t look better on paper at this moment compared to the tail end of 2019.

A depth chart, however, doesn’t win games. Outlining why Arizona might improve from a 5-10-1 season doesn’t account for the fact that every other team feels the same optimism at this point, nor the fact that the NFC West should be plenty competitive in 2020.

But NBC Sports’ Peter King can frame the Cardinals’ offseason improvements one way that should have their fans feeling confident.

“No team in the NFL this offseason has gotten a better player on each side of the ball, collectively, as DeAndre Hopkins on offense and Isaiah Simmons on defense,” the columnist told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday. “You will notice those guys in the first series of the first game of this season, whenever that is. That’s how impactful both of those guys are going to be.”

Hopkins made 104 receptions for 1,165 yards and seven scores in 2019 for the Houston Texans and has been one of the most heavily-targeted receivers in the NFL over the past few years.

Adding him to a receiver group that includes Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk should put all three players in a better spot than they’ve been in: Each will have more weapons around them and will play in more fitting roles.

Quarterback Kyler Murray is expected to grow in his second season under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and Kingsbury’s own comfort in his second year additionally projects well for 2020.

On defense, Simmons’ role will remain a mystery until the Cardinals feel out what suits him best. As a 6-foot-4, 238-pound athlete with the speed to cover receivers and the strength and length to rush the quarterback, he not only could fix problems for the defense but change the complexion of opposing coordinators’ gameplans.

Of course, other roster additions in free agency and the draft change Arizona’s trajectory moving forward as well.

But couple in a few big wins for the Cardinals in the past few months with the risky moves that general manager Steve Keim made in the last two offseasons, and things are looking up.

He hired and fired coach Steve Wilks, replacing him with Kingsbury, then drafted quarterbacks back-to-back in the first round of the 2018 and 2019 drafts.

“Now, how many people around the league when Kliff Kingsbury was hired as coach of the Arizona Cardinals were like, ‘Oh my god, what a great hire’?” King said, circling back to last offseason. “Everybody was saying, ‘Wow, this guy had a losing record in college football and now at a time of tremendous importance for that franchise, you’re hiring him to run your team.’

“(Keim) did hit a triple with both moves.”

Presented By
Western Governors University


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Michael Wilson catches a pass in Week 2...

Tyler Drake

Michael Wilson’s comfort level within Cardinals offense continues to evolve

Michael Wilson continues to impress for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023. The next step is getting him more involved as a pass catcher.

8 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs, Arizona Cardinals QB vs. the Dallas Cowboys...

Haboob Blog

‘Speeding in a school zone’: Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs pushed 20 mph vs. Cowboys

Joshua Dobbs is not Kyler Murray, but he's been a threat to run just like the recovering Arizona Cardinals startering quarterback.

15 hours ago

Presented By...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Arizona Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs talks win over the Cowboys

Video: Felisa Cárdenas and Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports Subscribe to the Arizona Sports daily newsletter: Read articles from Arizona Sports: Download the Arizona Sports app: Sign up for texts from Arizona Sports: Listen live to Arizona Sports: Follow the team: ARIZONA SPORTS SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook: X: TikTok: […]

18 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs celebrates with Monti Ossenfort after a Week 3 win over the Dallas Cowboys...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals QB Joshua Dobbs comes full circle in win over Cowboys

The Arizona Cardinals' 28-16 victory over the Dallas Cowboys was certainly a game to remember in more ways than one for QB Joshua Dobbs.

18 hours ago

Kyzir White celebrates with Jonathan Gannon in Week 3...

Tyler Drake

Kyzir White proving Jonathan Gannon, Cardinals right early into Arizona tenure

Kyzir White has been everything and more for a scrappy Cardinals defense led by head coach Jonathan Gannon and DC Nick Rallis.

1 day ago

Marquise Brown #2 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a touchdown with teammate James Conner #6 dur...

Wills Rice

Gannon after 10 analysts pick Cowboys to beat Cardinals: ‘Good’

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon had a brief word for all 10 analysts that predicted the Cowboys to beat the Cardinals in Week 3.

1 day ago

King: No team added impact player on offense, defense like Cardinals