Keim preaches confidence in Kliff Kingsbury, staff to turn 2022 around

Nov 11, 2022, 3:28 PM
Owner Michael Bidwill (R) and general manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals look on during tr...
Owner Michael Bidwill (R) and general manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals look on during training camp at State Farm Stadium on July 30, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

If the tone gets set at the top of an organization, then Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has made the tone like so:

The Cardinals believe their 3-6 start does not represent a failure on the part of the coaching staff led by Kliff Kingsbury. Nor does that record make it time to hit the panic button.

“I mean, I think Kliff has done everything he can in his power,” Keim told Arizona Sports Burns & Gambo on Friday. “I think at times, we’ve had enough meetings and we’ve had enough eternal discussions that you see the film and the different things that are taught and the mistakes that are made.

“At the end of the day, we know they have to execute. We just haven’t executed good enough. Whatever reason that is, I can’t put my finger on. It’s something we’re working on every day.”

Arizona faces a Los Angeles Rams squad on the road Sunday that is struggling through a Super Bowl hangover halfway through 2022.

That and the next game against the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City for Monday Night Football could settle whether the rest of the schedule is about playoff positioning or looking ahead to 2023.

It has not helped that the Cardinals have injury problems at every starting offensive line position other than right tackle. Nor that starting quarterback Kyler Murray limps into the Rams game with a hamstring issue that Kingsbury called day-to-day.

Even when healthy, Arizona’s players on the offensive side especially have struggled with timing, chemistry and pre-snap communication, leading to blown opportunities and penalties. All of that is correctable, Keim believes.

The general manager acknowledged regression from Murray — his passer rating and QBR would be career lows if they stay where they are. But Keim said that Murray and his teammates have the tools to fix things.

“To me, when you have a good organization, which I think we do, and you have a good culture, this is the time of the year with this record that you (could) start pointing figures,” Keim said. “To me, that’s not the kind of organization we want to have.

“I own it. It’s a roster I put together. You hope that roster becomes a team at some point that plays in unison. We haven’t done a good enough job yet. So I certainly own that.”

He added that franchise owner Michael Bidwill has remained supportive as the team has struggled. The two talk daily, and Bidwill’s presence has educated him on the whys behind those failures.

Keim doubled down on declaring this year’s problems the fault of his coaches. At the very least, the GM is insulating his staff and star quarterback from feeling the heat as fans decry the frustrating lack of offense.

“I trust Kliff Kingsbury — I think he’s an excellent football coach and excellent play-caller,” Keim said. “I think he’s going to get it turned around. And again, not only confidence in him but our entire coaching staff as well.”

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Keim preaches confidence in Kliff Kingsbury, staff to turn 2022 around