Churn, baby, churn
“We will always keep the foot on the pedal, I promise you that.”
In the corner office with a view of the practice field, we’re picturing a blender.
Each morning, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim starts his day by pushing the button marked “churn.”
“We are going to be extremely active bringing players in on Tuesdays during the season,” Keim continued recently on the Big Red Rage radio show (Thursdays at 6pm on Arizona Sports 620).
Of course, with more than 50 new players on the current roster and now over 100 roster transactions since early January, the blender has been running all year long on a variety of settings – chop, cut, puree, liquefy, stir, and blend.
“Trying to upgrade the back end of our roster,” Keim explained as his objective. “Your top 30-35 players are usually set in stone. But it’s that back half that you can continually churn.”
Keim might as well have his own cooking show as he mixes together various ingredients in a culinary edition of “Extreme Makeover.”
“You just have to be aggressive and be smart about it and we will continue to make transactions all through the season,” said Keim.
One of the latest examples involves receiver Kerry Taylor, who acquitted himself well against the Dallas Cowboys with four catches for a team-high 85 yards receiving. In return, what did the Chandler guy and former ASU Sun Devil get as a reward? How ‘bout more competition in the form of veteran receiver Mike Thomas — signed on Tuesday.
In talking with Thomas, he mentioned more than once that he mainly wanted a chance to compete. Guess what? The former U of A star signed with the right team. So far, the only thing that the 40-year-old Keim has guaranteed any Cardinals player is a chance to stake their claim in the annual Fight for 53.
And the final roster decisions will be a real-time analysis.
“I would say this – we’ll probably have about ten tough discussions,” Keim said about deciding final rosters spots with head coach Bruce Arians once the preseason concludes in Denver. “Other than that, I would say we’re set in stone.”
Yeah, well, until Keim tosses that stone into the blender. Cause, under Keim, it looks like the Fight for 53 will continue on an almost daily basis.
In other words, if you’re a player, do yourself a favor and avoid the depths of the roster because that Big Red blender will be whirring all season long.