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Steve Keim: A Time Of Year To Give Thanks For Kyler Murray

This Thanksgiving, it is easy for Steve Keim to see what he is most thankful for -- a quarterback like Kyler Murray, who looks like he's the Cardinals' answer at the position for many years.

"I'm really disappointed with the results this year (with the team's record), the expectations, we have not lived up to that," the Cardinals' general manager said Wednesday during an appearance on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station. "But there is no doubt that the criticism we took in some of the changes we made this offseason, I am thankful for the way that Kyler has played. I had no doubt in my mind that was a decision we needed to make and I think it is certainly going to show it was the right one.

"We have a chance to really improve and take this thing to another level. We have to finish strong, we have to do a number of things in the offseason to address the areas that need to be addressed, but I think we have a bright future."

Keim added that it is easy to forget Murray is just a rookie. "He's just going to get better and better."

-- With David Johnson coming off a game without a touch, Keim said the running back is a player "we are counting on, so we are looking forward to seeing what he can do." Keim also noted, however, the Cardinals also have Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds healthy and ready.

"There are only so many balls that can go around, and hopefully David is in the game and has the opportunity to make some good things happen," Keim added.

Johnson remains a dynamic pass receiver, Keim said. But he also added Johnson remains indecisive as a runner. "Whether you make a mistake or not, you have to realize, as a football player, you have to make it full speed."

Are there enough touches for all three running backs? "Who knows?" Keim said. "Maybe we'll get all three on the field at one time. I just walked down to Kliff (Kingsbury)'s office and he was just watching some Knute Rockne tape. We'll see if we can go with the Four Horsemen approach."

-- Keim said among the areas he'd like to see improve over the last five games mostly are on the defensive side, including creating pressure, getting off the field on third downs, and discipline with penalties and mental mistakes. In terms of receivers running free in the secondary, "we've had too much of that this year and it needs to be fixed."

Keim added that defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is "doing the best he can." The Cardinals are playing a lot of inexperienced guys on defense, Keim said, and "some of our playmakers have to step up."

-- The play of Patrick Peterson "has been up and down a little bit," Keim said. "Pat is competing and working hard. Sometimes, when you miss six weeks of football, you not only have to get your legs back underneath you, but the feel for the game, the speed, the anticipation."

Keim also said there was nothing new to report on the status of cornerback Robert Alford's potential return from IR.

-- The Cardinals extended the contract of tight end Maxx Williams because he is only 25 and "he fits our offense perfectly."

-- Keim called the offensive line "probably the biggest improvement from last year." Health has played a large factor, Keim said, as well as the coaching of Sean Kugler.

-- The Cardinals have had a lot of close losses, but Keim wasn't taking that as a sign the Cardinals are close to being a winning team. "It means we lost. All it does is create a bigger chip on your shoulder. We're in this business not for moral wins but for wins. That's not fair to our fans and it's not fair to people in this organization. This year has not been good enough. We want to continue to add players in this locker room who despise losing."

GM Steve Keim will have plenty of waiver claim options to consider this weekend.

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