Over the weekend, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic published a Q&A with Steve Keim, in which the Cardinals GM talked about how the team responded to Darnell Dockett‘s injury, the strategy of giving more snaps to young players, and Daryl Washington‘s season-long suspension. Keim made a number of interesting comments, so let’s dive right in and check out some of the highlights….
On the team’s reaction to Dockett’s torn ACL:
“The first thing that comes to mind is, what does this do to us from a depth standpoint? I know we have other guys who can help us and step up, whether it’s Frostee Rucker, Kareem Martin and Ed Stinson. I know we have guys who can play. I know we can’t replace Darnell’s emotional leadership, but are we good enough to sustain another injury, and where can we go for help next?
In my mind there is no reason to bring in another Ed Stinson or Kareem Martin. Those are two guys, all they need to do is continue to play and get quality reps. We need to find out if Isaac Sopoaga is the kind of guy who can help us? Is Tommy Kelly the kind of guy we can bring in to help us? Bring in veteran leadership and experience.”
On being patient about bringing in veteran help when an injury occurs:
“In years past, before Coach [Bruce] Arians, I felt like there was always trepidation in terms of playing younger guys. And in my opinion, you never know until you throw them out there and give them a chance. A lot of times I think you can be pleasantly surprised that these guys have ability, and if you ask them to do what caters to their strengths, they’ll have some success. To me, whether it’s a young quarterback or positional player, you don’t get better practicing.”
On Washington’s suspension:
“I would say of all our losses that Daryl Washington hurts the most. You can accept a player being injured because that’s going to happen, but when off-field issues come about, those are unacceptable. You certainly can’t plan for them, and I’ll never be able to get over those kinds of consequences. Because one of the things we’ve tried to do over the years is to create a filter – whether it’s in drafting or signing free agents – that we’ll not only draft good players but good people, guys who carry themselves the right way off the field. If you’re getting suspended in the NFL anymore, it means that you’ve been in trouble multiple times. And really at the end of the day, you’re hanging out your teammates as much as anybody.”
On whether the door will be open for Washington to return if and when he’s reinstated:
“You know what? We haven’t even gotten into that discussion yet. The one thing I do know that’s happened, since the suspension, we haven’t talked about him for a minute. Out of sight, out of mind.”