Keim on drafting Murray: Not scared to make mistake

It's fair to believe Steve Keim is fortunate to have a job running the Arizona Cardinals.

From the DUI arrest to a hole-filled roster that won three games, it would have been justifiable for Keim to get tossed out with the bath water at the end of the 2018 campaign, if not sooner.

The GM understands the dynamic and has spent the offseason putting it all on the line.

Keim made a controversial coaching hire, importing a man who had a mediocre record at Texas Tech. Jumping headlong into the Kliff Kingsbury dive-bombing aerial attack took faith that the coach's offense could succeed and thrive in the NFL.

To realize the vision, the GM handed the coach the ideal QB to run his system, Kyler Murray.

The move came with flushing last year's first-round pick, Josh Rosen, for pennies on the dollar in a trade to Miami. Drafting Murray and trading Rosen was the presumptive move telegraphed months ago.

Keim insists he considered a different path.

Speaking with Peter King for his Football Morning in America column, the GM said Kingsbury never insisted upon drafting Murray and he thought long and hard about sticking with Rosen.

"All spring, your mind races with the different scenarios," Keim told King. "At the end of the day, you had to look and say again, 'What is really going to catapult us into being different?' I've always been a visual guy and I've always had success evaluating quarterbacks when I trusted my instincts and my gut. I've missed on the guys that looked the part, smelled the part, you tried to invent and because all the things were connecting the dots. You scouted them and said, 'Okay, they're going to be a player because they look like this. I'm not saying that's Josh Rosen. I'm saying I had my real success, guys I've loved that have been great NFL players, based on instinct.

"When I closed my eyes and I visualized Kyler Murray running around State Farm Stadium in red and white, for whatever reason, all I saw was just fireworks, excitement, a must-see [environment] where fans have to go and show up and see this thing. Him being the architect was a phenomenal fit for me."

Keim might be wishing those fireworks into existence given his recent history. The man who has been with the Cardinals' organization since the turn of the millennium, however, has a big enough backlog of hits in his tenure to know trusting his gut can provide results.

Keim knows this gut feeling must prove true, or he's toast.

"I either visualize them or I just have bigger balls than my brains," Keim said. "I'm not scared to make a mistake. That could cost me my career but at the same time, to be great and to have success you gotta be willing to take chances -- ones that you believe in."

Whether those fireworks Keim envisioned become a reality or prove to be mistaken for a dumpster fire will be determined over the next several years.

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