<br> <span style="font-size: xx-small;">Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, here talking to reporters after the Steve Wilks introductory press conference, made an appearance at 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station on Tuesday.</span><br> <br> <br>
Michael Bidwill has his coach, having hired Steve Wilks a few weeks ago, and he has long had his General Manager, emphasizing that Monday when Steve Keim got a contract extension.
The quarterback comes next. And after the Cardinals’ president watched his new coach and then-new GM follow a similar path in 2013 in search of a signal-caller that ultimately led to Carson Palmer, Bidwill remains confident the Cardinals will do something similar in 2018.
“Today, we’ve got the GM in place (with Steve Keim), and I really like our head coach (Steve Wilks) and everything I’ve seen from him so far,” Bidwill said Tuesday morning during an appearance on 98.7, Arizona’s Sports Station. “The quarterback thing will come. I don’t want to sound like we’re being cavalier about it but we’ve got to wait for free agency to start to see who is out there.
“I know we’re going to be aggressive, we’re going to have a plan.”
Bidwill reiterated the Cardinals will look at free agency and trades – legal “tampering” begins March 12, and trades and signings can be executed starting March 14 – as well as the draft.
For now, there is only planning. “What we can do is we can get ready for free agency,” Bidwill said, noting that the coaches and front office were set to begin three days of meetings Tuesday to rank potential free agents across the league, “including lining them up against our own roster.”
Some of the other topics Bidwill addressed:
-- On the contract extension for General Manager Steve Keim through the 2022 season: “This is about
creating stability in the organization and making sure we take care of the folks who really deserve an extension, and Steve really did.
“You want to reward success and, back to that word, stability. You want stability in our leadership around our organization. This isn’t the first time I’ve come to him early. Again, he’s one of the best in the National Football League. But we also had a long conversation about what we need to do, and not just this offseason. It’s about winning Super Bowls.”
-- On his impressions of Wilks and his new staff: “There’s a new vibe in there now. … Coach Wilks has come in, this is the beginning of his third week, and he has hit the ground running. He is organized, he is efficient, he talks about accountability, holy cow, he has been banging out the decisions and put together a great staff. It has been all business.”
-- On the Cardinals’ new Facebook Watch series, “Flight Plan,” that will document the team’s offseason work: “We know the fans want to understand what we are doing and want more access. We’re trying to give it to them and be transparent.
“We’re proud of the decisions we are making, we’re proud of the people in the organization that are making these
decisions and we want to show it off a little bit.”
-- Bidwill noted this is a “quiet” period – because of the collective bargaining agreement – between the team and its own players. While players can come in and work out if they want, they can’t talk to coaches about football-related issue for now. (Because Wilks is a new coach, the Cardinals’ offseason program begins a little earlier this year, on April 2.)
-- On waiting for Larry Fitzgerald’s playing-or-not-playing decision: “As I’ve said everyone needs to relax … Just give him some time. He’ll make his decision and he’ll let us know.”
-- On improvements on University of Phoenix Stadium, Bidwill said a two-year, $18 million upgrade to the club level will be completed, as well as a long-awaited improvement to the parking situation with the city of Glendale. There will be 4,000 new spaces south of Bethany Home Road, allowing the team to get rid of off-site parking with shuttle buses, and instead park closer to the stadium with a pedestrian underpass to the stadium.
-- On the benefit of adding a former head coach to the staff in offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, given that Wilks is a first-time head coach: “A former head coach would really be an advantage to any first-time head coach,” Bidwill said. “In many ways, any new head coach, you’re going to feel like you’re drinking water from a fire hydrant. He’s going to want a peer to bounce things off of when things come up. Things he may not want to ask Steve (Keim) or he may not want to ask me, but he’d want to ask another coach.”
-- On what he wants the fanbase to know: “We’re committed to putting a championship team on the field, and Steve Wilks, Steve Keim and I have a plan, and we’re going to execute that plan. We’re going to be very aggressive about getting this team back on its winning ways and making sure we’re not just winning, but bringing championships back to this community.”
Images of Larry Fitzgerald, who won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this weekend with partner Kevin Streelman