Did Michael Bidwill Throw The Arizona Cardinals Under The Bus?
By Mac Gyver
For all practical purposes the ink wasn’t dry yet on Ken Whisenhunt’s and General Manager Rod Graves’ pink slips when Cardinals President Michael Bidwill started pursuing Andy Reid like a lovesick puppy.
The whole scenario had the media and the Cards fans shaking their heads in confusion from the moment it hit the Internet.
Even as the media builds a list of head coaching prospects Bidwill is supposedly considering Bidwill let something slip that indicates he already has his mind made up. At Monday’s press conference Bidwill not only said that he’s not willing to give up on Kevin Kolb yet, but dropped this one-liner as well:
"“That’s one of the questions we will really focus on with the coaching staff candidates.”"
"“You won’t be considered for the job unless you’re willing to keep Kolb in the bunkhouse.”"
Enter recently fired Eagles head coach Andy Reid, stage left. Considering that Reid worships the ground Kolb’s sacked on it’s safe to say Andy can start packing for Arizona. Hmmm… Is it just me, but is replacing the most successful head coach in Cards history with a man who could use a long rest a good gamble?
For the time being Cardinals President Michael Bidwill appears to be riding “Hell bent for leather” for a huge decision that won’t go away. If Ken Whisenhunt ends up in the playoffs with the right team next season and the “Reid Era” goes down like the Titanic on it’s maiden voyage there’s no “undo” button for this one.
Meanwhile back at the ranch Cardinals fans have been “underwhelmed” by the “Bold Moves” Bidwill made with not only his coaching staff, but his stubborn refusal to realize what the Colts and the Redskins have already learned:
"If you have bad quarterbacks go out and pay whatever it takes to get a real franchise quarterback."
Here’s a sampling of Cardinals fan opinions on hiring Andy Reid, and Kevin Kolb as the franchise quarterback”
"* Horrible move, Andy needs a break. Look at his tenure in Philly, a notable dropoff in the last few seasons. Anyone capable of the Castillo DC hire is no longer ready for prime time. He will not deliver; sadly for the fans, AZ found a way to go backward. Fitz should agitate for a trade, they will not compete any time soon.* Michael can make the decision on who to hire for the HC, but he should allow the person who he hires to be the GM to make a recommendation to him, not hire a HC before he selects the GM. We saw what happened when the Bears hired a GM before the 2012 season and now that GM wants his own HC, so “so long, Lovie. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”* Kevin Kolb the “Coach Killer”.* WTH is Michael thinking??? Andy Reid is NOT the answer. Mark my words. The Cards will not make the playoffs with Reid. What did he do in Philly? If Michael is chasing him because he believes that Reid will be able to improve Kolb, that is faulty thinking. Is Reid going to erect a barrier around Kolb to keep him from being injured?"
Would Reid keep the DC and the zone D if he’s chosen head coach? That’s another one of the “sticky points” in the situation. The Cards have two season’s invested in the zone defense already. Regardless of the Cards 2012 win stats it started paying off half way through last season, and was a steamroller for the first 4 games of this season. Bidwill’s reluctance to to cough up the cash to replace their injured players is the biggest reason the defense failed later.
On one side note I saw a writer claim that Bidwill being willing to take a loss on Whisenhunt’s salary is a sign he’s willing to take his wallet out of the Brinks armored car that follows him daily and toss his Scrooge McDuck jammies. My take is that throwing good money after bad ($61.5 mil “Concussion magnet Kolb”) is not proof of a wise business decision.
On another side note if the Cards did in fact interview their defensive coordinator Ray Horton for the head coaching job today it may have only been for show. As a minority an interview with Horton would satisfy the requirements of the Rooney Rule, and Bidwell would be free to hire the man he already had decided upon. So much for “NFL requirements”.
The Cardinals are one of the NFC teams that I admire and I hope things work out well next season.