The day after every game, Cardinals GM Steve Keim joins Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM to discuss what happened and where the team is at.
On Monday, he discussed his team’s season-opening 23-21 loss to a depleted New England Patriots team on Sunday Nigh Football.
The Cardinals did not play great, though had a chance to win in the end until Chandler Catanzaro pushed a 47-yard field goal attempt wide left.
What was your biggest disappointment yesterday?
“Just the lack of execution. Just throughout the week, the plan that was in place, we felt pretty strongly what they were going to do strictly offensively and we just didn’t execute. You wake up Monday morning with a loss, you’re angry, disappointed and embarrassed, and that’s the way we should all feel. Just didn’t get it done and there were a lot of reasons we didn’t get it done and that certainly needs to improve and it’s unacceptable.”
What did you see out of special teams?
“Very disappointing in every area. Whether it’s punting, kicking, you name it. Returning, we didn’t get it done, and that certainly is an area that needs improvement.”
What are your expectations for a punt?
“I think some of it’s placement, and a combination of placement and cover teams, you’d have to talk to the special teams coach a little bit more about that. You know it’s pretty simple, you gotta block and tackle and we didn’t do a good enough job in any of those areas. Defensively very frustrating. Third down defense, I think we all know what the numbers are there. We knew it’d be hard to get to (Jimmy) Garoppolo because most of it was going to be three-step drop and he was going to get the ball out of his hands but the intuition that we played with, the isolations that they got with some of their inside slot receivers on safeties, the lack of leverage, the inability to tackle in space, those were all extremely disappointing, and a major reason why we were 10-for-16 (on third down defense).”
What did you see when you evaluated the offense?
“Protection was solid, he was sacked three times, two or three I thought were coverage sacks. I thought we were out of sync in the passing game in the first half, receivers and Carson (Palmer) were not on the same page. I thought in the run game we were solid at times. Across the board, offensive line-wise, probably not a reason why I thought we lost the game. Again in the first half I didn’t think we were in sync.”
Do you buy into there’s too much hype for the 2016 Cardinals?
“I don’t know, I mean the thing is I don’t place hype on our team. My job is to try and produce the best roster I can and I know we have a talented bunch, yet at the same time if they don’t play to their level, then we’re going to have disappointment, and that’s certainly what happened last night. We gotta regroup. The sky’s falling Monday, and that’s the feel that all of us should have and use that as a chip on our shoulder to make sure that doesn’t happen again. One thing we have to do is continue to execute, and like I said, make sure that something like last night doesn’t happen again.”
How did D.J. Humphries do?
“He had two pressures that I saw just because of technique, I saw in the run game he was excellent. He rolled people out of there on the goaline. The run by David Johnson, he drove a guy about six yards into the endzone and dumped him. I thought he played solid. He’s playing physical, he’s playing with urgency, continues to get better and better with his technique, but there were certainly some issues with all those guys, Jared Veldheer, all the guys across the front of the offensive line can continue to grow and get better.”
What went wrong with the third down defense?
“They got us into some matchups that were not beneficial for us, and more than anything we did not tackle well. Again, when you have a receiver in the slot and they catch an underneath pass, and you come up and miss the first tackle and it’s third-and-five, it’s instantly a three yard gain that becomes a six or seven yard gain and you gotta move the sticks. Coach told them prior to the game several times, and I heard it, guys are going to try and get the ball to several of their play-makers and we have to tackle well to be effective and we did not do that, and that was across the board, including some of our playmakers in the secondary did not tackle well.”
What did you see from Tyrann Mathieu?
“Well he tried to fly around. Again I think that he’d be the first to tell you that he was disappointed in some of the missed tackles that he had specifically in the alley. He’s got to get better in that area and I don’t know if the knee’s bothering him or not, as far as I can tell it’s not, but knocking the rust off, reminding yourself to come to balance and bend your knees and play in space I think that’s something he’ll continue to grow and get better.”
Do you believe in the theory that there can be a good loss?
“No. Not when you’re playing a backup quarterback who is missing some playmakers and it’s a game at home. Our mindset is you cannot lose those home games in front of our crowd. Our fans were excited, they were rowdy, they certainly did their part and we did not live up to expectations and that’s something that needs to change by next Sunday against Tampa.”
What happened on the Brandon Williams blown coverage play?
“That’s exactly right; it was a blown coverage and that’s disappointing, and it’s no different from a tackle that gives up a sack out of 60-some plays. You can play well, as Brandon played well a majority of the plays, but there were two or three plays that he made critical errors, and that was one of them. The other was when he went up for the ball on that one pass on the perimeter and he mistimed it and it resulted in a big gain. There were some mistakes that he made that were very very critical to the game that he’s got to clean up and improve on.”
Is there a free-agent you’re looking at bringing in to create competition?
“Yeah we’re bringing in several guys this week, but I’m not gonna say what positions.”
You bring in guys every week right?
“We didn’t last week, but this week we will.”
What are some injuries from last night?
“Frostee (Rucker) got nicked up, but I don’t know the extent of it yet. At this point on Monday mornings I haven’t talked to Tom Reed on our medical staff yet. I know the guys are still coming in and getting looked at but I’ll find out a little bit later today.”
Any information on Evan Mathis’ injury or same thing?
“No, same thing.”
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