Cardinals GM Steve Keim pleased, but not satisfied with season’s first half

Nov 2, 2015, 9:31 AM
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim watches the offense and defense during an NFL football...
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim watches the offense and defense during an NFL football training camp practice Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals general manager

The Arizona Cardinals head into their Week 9 bye with a formidable 6-2 record, courtesy of a 34-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.

Despite that first-half success, the architect of the NFC West’s top team isn’t totally satisfied with what he’s seen so far.

“It feels good,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Would I say that I’m satisfied? No, but at the same time I’m extremely proud of the record, at 6-2, we’re in a pretty good position. We just have to build and grow on what we started.

“There’s no doubt that the second half of the season is going to pose some major challenges. But as a competitor, that’s the type of challenges you want.”

Critics of the Cardinals will point out the quality of teams that they faced in their first eight games. The six teams Arizona has beaten have a combined record of 13-34. As Keim states, the back of the slate is much tougher. The remaining opponents on the Cardinals’ schedule boast a 31-20 mark.

Sunday’s win in Cleveland was uneven at best for the Cardinals. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then were badly outplayed as Cleveland built a 20-7 lead. Chandler Catanzaro kicked a field goal before the end of the first half, and after some halftime adjustments, Arizona outscored the Browns 24-0 the rest of the way to win by two touchdowns.

It’s not the first time the Cardinals have been up-and-down during the course of a single game, but that doesn’t concern Keim moving forward.

“I know the type of men we have in our locker room,” Keim said. “The good news is being 6-2, we certainly have not played our best football yet. There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll hit our stride in the second half of the season, which a lot of times in the NFL, the teams that get hot in the second half are the ones that finish strong.”

The Cardinals will resume their schedule Sunday night, Nov. 15 against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in a nationally televised game by NBC.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver J.J. Nelson, left, makes a one-handed catch against Cleveland Browns defensive back Tramon Williams in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, left, and Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine talk before an NFL football game between the teams, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) scrabbles away from Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden (44) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals tight end Troy Niklas (87) celebrates after an 11-yard touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals tight end Troy Niklas (87) scores after an 11-yard touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) fumbles the ball after being hit by Cleveland Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Cleveland Browns wide receiver Brian Hartline catches a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Cleveland Browns guard Joel Bitonio (75) congratulates wide receiver Brian Hartline (83) after Hartline caught a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge (82) catches a 3-yard touchdown pass under pressure from Arizona Cardinals strong safety Tony Jefferson (22) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer prepares to throw in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson (29) runs for a first down as Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) tries to make a tackle in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Cleveland Browns wide receiver Brian Hartline (83) reacts after catching a 2-yard touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) catches a touchdown pass in front of Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) catches the ball for a first down as Cleveland Browns defensive back Tramon Williams (22) watches in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) catches the ball under pressure from Cleveland Browns defensive back Tramon Williams (22) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) passes under pressure from Cleveland Browns linebacker Paul Kruger (99) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals middle linebacker Kevin Minter (51) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

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Cardinals GM Steve Keim pleased, but not satisfied with season’s first half