TEMPE, Ariz. – Bring on the Seattle Seahawks again.
That was the message from Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim on his weekly radio show Monday.
“As a competitor, any time that you play a division rival and particularly when you lose like this, it puts a bad taste in your mouth,” Keim said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “As a competitor I’d love to play the Seahawks again.”
Keim admitted he was disappointed with Arizona’s showing in a 36-6 loss to Seattle, in which the Cardinals were dominated in all three phases of the game.
“Knowing that Carolina was winning the game, I felt like we didn’t play like there was anything to play for,” Keim said. “That was not only up front on the offensive line but I think at every position.”
But Keim took an optimist’s approach when looking at how the loss fit in the Cardinals’ big-picture, saying he was “encouraged.” He called Sunday night an “outlier” especially after looking at how Arizona had played during its nine-game winning streak.
“I look at this team and I know the character and leaders that we have,” he said. “I know that they’ll get this thing ready to go and coach will have them ready to play in two weeks.”
What Sunday reinforced for Keim and the Cardinals was that “it’s a week-to-week league.” When Seattle was pumped up as the team du jour, the Seahawks got beat by St. Louis two weeks ago, which got beat by San Francisco on Sunday.
“Then people were concerned about us,” Keim said. “We continued to play well and all of a sudden last week we were thought of by some people as the best team in football. To me it just goes to show you that our name hasn’t been printed on any Super Bowl ticket yet, and it’s a nice reminder for our guys internally that they need to come to play every week with the same level of intensity and emotion.
“If not, what happened yesterday is going to happen.”
Keim said the loss of safety Tyrann Mathieu was a “big hit” for the Cardinals especially with how teams have been picking on cornerback Justin Bethel. “[Cornerback] Pat [Peterson] takes a ton of stress away from our defense, what he can do in matchup situations playing man so those other guys have to step up, and we have to create a pass rush that gives those guys little time to cover.”
Keim said he won’t be cheering for any teams in particular this weekend. “It’s no different from the way our season ended; we control our own destiny. As I said a couple weeks ago, you can’t get consumed or worried about who beats who. Whoever comes to University of Phoenix in two weeks, I’m looking forward to it.”