The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 28, 2013

GM Keim shakes up Arizona roster, creates winner

(Continued)

TEMPE, Ariz. —

The first chore was to find a coach.

Team President Michael Bidwill and Keim immediately fell for 60-year-old Bruce Arians.

“Bruce Arians was able to come in,” Keim said, “and within two minutes was able to express to Michael and myself, “here’s what’s wrong, here’s how I fix it and these are the men that I’m going to bring with me to help teach and coach my system.”

Keim’s next priority was to get a quarterback, and he was able to acquire Carson Palmer and a seventh-round draft pick for just Arizona’s sixth-round pick.

Keim worked to add depth, bringing in the likes of defensive lineman Frostee Rucker and outside linebacker Matt Shaughnessy.

He watched the veteran free agents in the offseason and waited until the last minute to get outside linebacker John Abraham, inside linebacker Karlos Dansby and right tackle Eric Winston at bargain prices.

Looking to help the beleaguered offensive line, Keim drafted guard Jonathan Cooper as the seventh pick overall but lost him in the preseason with a broken leg. Paul Fanaika, a lightly used player who had mostly been a tackle, moved in.

Keim had two big hits in the draft. He took a chance on defensive back Tyrann Mathieu and his troubled background in the third round and the diminutive dynamo was a standout until he sustained a season-ending knee injury. Speedy Andre Ellington, picked in the sixth round, adds a dynamic element as a runner and receiver.

Working with a “ready list” of players without jobs, Keim kept adding pieces throughout the season and the Cardinals evolved from a team that blew an 11-point first quarter lead and lost their opener in St. Louis to one that toppled mighty Seattle on the road.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Drivers visit Indiana National Guard before race at Brickyard

    EDINBURGH, Ind. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal are used to occasional fireworks when drivers get upset at the track....

    July 25, 2014

  • Nibali wins Stage 18, builds overall lead

    ARGELES-GAZOST, France — As his team hoped, Vincenzo Nibali demonstrated he’s the “boss” of the Tour de France. Just don’t compare him to the last rider to regularly bear that sobriquet at cycling’s greatest race, Lance Armstrong....

    July 25, 2014

  • Sooners use momentum from Sugar Bowl in preparation for 2015 season

    The Associated Press NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma got a lot of attention with its upset victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl....

    July 25, 2014

  • Yankees edge Texas for sixth victory in seven games

    NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees....

    July 25, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Former great addressed during annual shareholders meeting in G.B.

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that figures to be an NFC contender for years to come....

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Potential buyer group scouts Toronto area

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto, a person close to the situation said....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014