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Steve Keim tried to assure Cardinals’ fans and loyal season ticket holders that the 2018 season was an exciting “retool” and not a rebuild.
He gushed about having Sam Bradford and his “elite skillset” behind center, coached by the venerable, time-tested Mike McCoy.
He gushed about having David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald back with a revamped offensive line comprised of 4 former 1st round picks.
He was so confident about the defensive personnel that he only took one defensive player in the draft (a 6th round CB)—-and pushed $8.7M dollars to the middle of the table in the faith that Deone Bucannon would be the leader of the defense.
He was equally confident that last year’s kicking woes for Phil Dawson were an aberration and that Dawson would thrive under new STC Jeff Rodgers.
Keim insisted to Cardinals’ fans and his coaches and players that “you will never hear me use the word rebuild.”
So, while Keim was reassuring Cardinals’ fans that this year’s team would be highly competitive—-the oddsmakers in Las Vegas weren’t buying any of it.
So much so, in fact, that prior to the season, the oddsmakers gave the Cardinals the lowest odds of all 32 teams to win the Super Bowl.
At the time, for many Cardinals’ fans, especially those who’d bought into Keim’s assurances, they were indignant and they felt like Vegas was out of its mind.
For those of us who were very leery and skeptical of Keim’s off-season moves, the Vegas odds seemed like a prescient harbinger.
The reasons for skepticism were stacked up like a pile of burnt flapjacks—-and no amount of butter and maple syrup could make this batch look tasty.
Think about this—-
This was a retooling that was supposed to fire up the players and the fan base?
There were so many lost opportunities here—-but the main ones? Missing out on hiring an offensive minded head coach (former Cardinals’ QB coach Frank Reich was out there for the talking, for example)—-using the $40+M the GM afforded to the oft-injured or over-the-hill Bradford, Iupati, Pugh, Andre Smith and Deone Bucannon to rebuild the OL into a strength for the QBOF.
Vegas must know a little something about brittle QBs, shoddy offensive lines and GMs who put their faith and money into aging, oft-injured players.
Las Vegas called the Cardinals’ bluff.
And they were right on the money.