The Cardinals have chosen to stay in-house with the promotion of Steve Keim to GM as the search for a new coach goes on.
The 40-year-old Keim has worked for the franchise for 14 years. He joined the Cardinals in 1999 as a scout, became director of college scouting in 2006 and director of player personnel in 2008 before being named vice president for player personnel last year.
At a news conference, the hulking Keim, with his trademark shaved head stated that he is driven by 2 specific memories of his time with Arizona Cardinals.
”One is obviously the day that I stood on the field in 2008 when we won the NFC championship and all that confetti was sticking to my sweaty head. That thought drives me,” he said. ”The other thought that drives me is when I was sitting at our game against Seattle Seahawks this year and we lost 58-0 and making a pact with myself that which will never happen again.”
Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said the fact that other teams had an interest in Keim shows his value.
Bidwill asserted he felt he owed it to the organization to conduct other interviews even though his ”initial impression was that Steve was going to be a natural fit.”
A two-time all-ACC guard at North Carolina State, Keim had a short stint as a player in the NFL with Miami in 1996 and with the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL in 1997. After that, he came back to North Carolina State as strength and conditioning coach as well as doing player evaluations and serving as a liaison to NFL members who were evaluating players at the school.
Keim replaces Rod Graves, who was fired together with Coach Ken Whisenhunt the day after the season ended.
Bidwill, son of team owner Bill Bidwill, claimed that Keim’s duties will ”be a little bit different” from those of Graves.
”What they tend to do is they improve each other and make the team better,” Bidwill announced. ”They make each other better, too. And they come to team decisions. And that’s the view that I have, which is we are going to have that here. We will make Cardinal decisions and we’ll be a better team for it.”
Keim was part of Bidwill’s 2 interviews of head coaching candidates – Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. An interview is scheduled on Thursday with Jay Gruden, offensive coordinator of the Bengals. Sports scores
Asked about other general manager’s he has admired, Keim mentioned former Green Bay General Manager Ron Wolf and Bill Polian, for 13 years a top executive of the Colts. Keim asserted he wants to continue working with Jason Licht, the Cardinals’ highly rated director of player staff.
Keim said he believes the Cardinals have ”a ton of talent” on their roster and that the task at hand is ”a re-tool, not a rebuild.”
He mentioned young defensive standouts cornerback Patrick Peterson, defensive end Calais Campbell and within LB Daryl Washington. The problems, though, mostly are on what was the worst offense in the NFL.