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GM Steve Keim: DeAndre Hopkins 'Instills Confidence' In Team

No concern over sideline spat; happy with Blankenship game

Steve Keim, not surprisingly, was happy like everyone else to see DeAndre Hopkins back on the field.

The Cardinals GM knows how much having Hop in the lineup helped the offense, and that's why he traded for him in 2020. But why, Keim was asked, is it so hard for the Cardinals offense to function when Hop isn't around?

"It's a fair point," Keim said. "That is a fair point. I wish I could tell you. I do know he makes a difference when he is on the field. Plus he is a guy who's got swag. He instills confidence in our football team."

Hopkins was moved around on the field more than usual, and Keim was asked if that would continue.

"When you have a guy like Hop and teams want to bracket or double him, you want to move him around and create mismatches -- although if you ask Hop, he would tell you he is never covered," Keim said, adding, "there are some nuances that are different, but one thing I think helped the whole process was we were able to run the ball effectively and have that balance."

-- Keim dismissed any concern about the sideline yelling of Kyler Murray toward Kliff Kingsbury. "Listen, if we saw everything that was said in football and the emotions that come with it ... it was a Thursday night gaem, the roof was open, we were wearing black uniforms, a lot of excitement, the emotions get high. That'll happen from time to time. I'd rather see people get emotional than the alternative."

-- Eno Benjamin was "phenomenal" against the Saints. "He just continues to grow and get better," Keim sad, using "natural run skills and I think what he showed the other night, the ability to finish with strength and explosiveness.

"For a guy who is not the biggest back he certainly had a great night and put his name on the map for sure."

-- Keim said there is still a role for A.J. Green on the roster even after he was active but didn't play against the Saints. (An aside, Green's situation will be one to watch, especially once Hollywood Brown is healthy again, given that some of Green's money this season is tied to being active on game days.)

-- Keim said the hope is that Matt Prater would be back this week but it's too early to tell, and Rodrigo Blankenship, who did a "phenomenal" job, would be ready to kick again if needed. Keim was asked if he had any regrets of signing Matt Ammendola before Blankenship (both came in for tryouts at the same time.)

"You know it's one of those things that's hard to say," Keim said. "If I knew the results of this past weekend (ahead of time) I'd say yes, but as you know it's a tough business, and you make mistakes."