Steve Keim dismisses idea that playoff expectations put added pressure on Kliff Kingsbury

Arizona Cardinals Training Camp
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Steve Keim became the Cardinals’ General Manager in 2013. Two years later, the Cardinals made the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Panthers. The team has not made the playoffs since.

The Cardinals, on paper, have their best team since 2015, which is why Keim feels “probably as good as I’ve felt about a team probably since 2015.”

“I feel like we have a chance to be a really good football team, but we have to execute,” Keim said on his weekly radio appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7, via Darren Urban of the team website.

It reiterated what Keim said earlier this week about having “no doubt” the Cardinals are a playoff team. So, what if the Cardinals don’t make the playoffs?

Keim’s comments seem to put “win-now” pressure on the shoulders of coach Kliff Kingsbury. Keim, though, dismissed a question about how big of a year it is for the team’s third-year head coach.

Keim wants to focus on the excitement going into this season rather than possible disappointment at the end of the season.

“Expectations are high, not only locally but also nationally, and certainly within our building,” Keim said.

Kingsbury, who was 35-40 in his six seasons at his alma mater, Texas Tech, went only 13-18-1 in his first two NFL seasons. Now, he has a star-studded roster and great expectations.

That prompted a follow-up question to Keim about what he needs to see to bring back Kingsbury in 2022.

“I don’t look at it that way,” Keim said. “I look at the positives. The changes we have made with the players in that locker room. Self-policing the locker room with the accountability stuff. J.J. Watt. A.J. Green. Rodney Hudson. Matt Prater. Guys who have been there and done it. Those young guys on the roster, the Zaven Collinses, the Rondale Moores, those guys get to a point where they are seasoned pros by midseason not only because they have been in the NFL for a few months, but they have been around true pros. That, to me, is what is exciting to see, and then the ascension of Kyler Murray and all he has done.”

Kingsbury, for his part, also brushed off any talk about his future and any extra pressure he faces in 2021.

“I think going through being the head coach at your alma mater and getting fired, it’s kind of walking through fire in this profession,” Kingsbury said this week. “So, after going through that, not too much really fazes you.”

11 responses to “Steve Keim dismisses idea that playoff expectations put added pressure on Kliff Kingsbury

  1. Seems like there would be even more pressure on the guy that hired him and been in charge of a 7 year playoff drought…

  2. It should put the most pressure on YOU. Maybe when you both get fired you can continue to hang out in Scottsdale together like you have been. Youve been poor at a few jobs, Keim. GM, responsible employee (DUI and rumored affair with female staff), evaluator, husband. You both need to go

  3. Kingsbury took a last place, 3 win team and won 5.5 in his first year as coach and 8 wins in his second year. Maybe that was all Kyler Murray, but let’s wait and see what happens after losing Fitz (who only had 400some yards and 1 TD) and PP21 who did not play well since his PED suspension, but added top C Hudson, AJ Green, JJ Watt, James Connor and 4 rookies that look exciting (Collins, Moore and 2 CB’s) as well as get Chandler Jones back, who was out most of last season. It’s a better team on paper, with both the former rookie QB and HC in their third year together, but that division is a tough on to win in.

  4. Actually, Keim seems like a pretty decent guy. He’s missed on some draft choices, but who hasn’t?

  5. Kingsbury inherited a historically bad football team in 2019. Go look at the offensive numbers in 18 under Steve Wilks then look at what Kingsbury has done. Even though the Cards faded last year after a hot start, they’ve improved their win total both years Kingsbury has been there.

  6. this team has no defense and plays in the best division in football, and are clearly behind the rams in niners.

  7. Realy pretty simple, they BOTH need to go you can do it now even before the season.Mr DUI should have been fired 2 years ago.

  8. Picking up Green and Watt was a mistake. Connor isn’t the answer either. And Murray isn’t going to be a good NFL QB. Both Keim and Kingsbury are gone after next season.

  9. Hiring a guy with a crap record in college amd expecting it to be better in the NFL seems crazy. Maybe better as just an offensive coordinator but not a HC. James connor isnt an addition. Great story, below average football player. Hiring Kliff is like me changing the seeting on Madden to All pro , but I can barely win On pro.

  10. If Keim had not lucked into the Texans throwing away DeAndre Hopkins, and being able to unload a big contract on them (David Johnson), would he still have a job?

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