Cardinals exec Quentin Harris admits ‘unknown,’ focused on closing strong

Dec 22, 2022, 3:00 PM
Arizona Cardinals VP of player personnel Quentin Harris (Photo via Arizona Cardinals)
(Photo via Arizona Cardinals)

Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris admits that he and vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson have a limited scope as they take over for general manager Steve Keim.

With Keim on a health-related leave of absence and reports indicating his future in Arizona could be in doubt, the two front-office leaders at this point aren’t looking at big picture, franchise-altering items. They just want to help the 4-10 team at present find a few positives heading to the offseason.

Since Keim’s health-related leave was announced publicly last Wednesday, it’s been heads-down to work for Harris and Wilson.

“It’s crazy because things have happened so fast, I didn’t really get to that point where I’m looking at an opportunity,” he said of taking on more duties. “I’m just trying to do the best job in the role that I’m in right now, but obviously you want to put your best foot forward because it is an unknown.

“We don’t know what’s gonna happen. But you know, I want to do my job and in these last few weeks do as much as I can — myself and Adrian, as much as we can — to kind of get things rolling in the right direction going to the offseason.”

Harris said his job description hasn’t changed drastically. He’s taken on more meetings and administrative work.

Harris is in his 15th year with the Cardinals’ front office.

He began as a scout and has been promoted to director of pro scouting (2013-18), then director of player personnel (2019-20) before his latest promotion in 2021.

“I was fortunate in our organization to get a lot of exposure to different areas, different departments,” Harris said. “So really it hasn’t changed that much outside of the meetings and being more privy to some of the information in small decisions so far. So I would say what went through my mind initially was, ‘OK, I’m prepared.’

“We’ve been doing a lot of these things anyway, so it didn’t feel overwhelming at all by any stretch of the imagination.”

Harris, who played 54 games with Arizona from 2002-05, referenced his playing days for helping him navigate these uncertain times, with a struggling team hit by injuries and Keim’s future in doubt.

“Obviously, we had the injuries, but it was just one of those seasons where there’s a distraction here and there and injury here and there, and it’s been tough,” he said. “Like we talked about … adjusting, adapting — being former players, we’re gonna have to be adaptable and I think this season it certainly has been the case and the situation in terms of us having to adapt and be able to move on the fly.”

As for evaluating the entirety of the team, Harris’ position remains with a focus on players.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his staff could be on the hot seat, but interim executives likely won’t be the key decision-makers there.

That lies on owner Michael Bidwill, whose speech to the Cardinals players that aired on Hard Knocks on Wednesday night included criticism over some players’ effort levels.

“I’m as (expletive) disappointed as everyone else in this room,” Bidwill said in the HBO series. “I can see who’s really doing it. I can also see where people are sometimes cutting corners.”

Harris was asked if he saw corner-cutting by players: “Well, my reaction to that is, first of all, (Bidwill) should be upset. The fan base should be upset. We’re upset internally and when we’re not winning, obviously, we’re not doing things all the way the right way.

“I would just say that when we’re evaluating everyone, we evaluate everything. I’m being evaluated. The coaches are being evaluated. The players are being evaluated and it can be as little as making sure the area is tidy. It could be as little as just how you handle yourself. … Michael obviously knows everything, but I’m not quite sure in terms of the corner-cutting what he was referring to. But when we’re not winning. We have to change things. We have to look at every angle you’ve got.”

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