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On Patrick Peterson, Steve Keim is (mostly) on to the 49ers

Steve Keim was blunt when it came to talking about the Patrick Peterson trade request.

"This is a business," Keim said Friday on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station. "As far as I'm concerned, we're on to San Francisco, to paraphrase Bill Belichick."

Acknowledging the questions had to be asked, Keim declined to get into an "confidential" talks he had with Peterson. As far as Peterson's stance hurting the locker room, Keim said "everything that happens can be used as a positive in life."

"You guys almost came to blows twice," Keim said, referencing some past incidents between the hosts. "And you guys are still hammering away at it ... and I think you guys are doing a hell of a job. So it can make you become closer."

Keim said that as always when the trade deadline comes closer, there "is a lot of dialogue and conversations," but few deals come out of all the talk when the two sides cannot ultimately agree on a proper swap. One thing was clear -- Peterson is staying put. Keim was asked if any team made an offer that was at least intriguing, and Keim said he would reiterate what team president Michael Bidwill said at the most recent owners' meeting.

"We're not trading Patrick Peterson," Keim said.

-- Defensively, Keim said he has had conversations with Steve Wilks about schemes.

"When you have those conversations, it comes back to, on my side of the building, you want to talk about personnel, how guys fit, how we can cater to players' strengths and minimize their deficiencies," Keim said. "That is something we have to continue to challenge ourselves to get better at."

The harder part, Keim said, is figuring out how to fix it within those parameters, and do it quickly. As a follow-up, Keim was asked about the scheme vs. players question, and what takes precedence as a new staff tries to transition from the previous staff.

"Over the past six years, I think you can see by the way we have drafted, I feel like it is necessary in this league to draft hybrid players, guys with positional flexibility" Keim said. "Whether that is in the front, on the second level or the back end, guys who can play different positions. With the way NFL offenses are run these days, they way they can spread you out, the two-down Mike linebacker doesn't exist anymore. Because you're going to find them and you're going to mismatch them. You have to have three-down players who can play all situations.

"At the end of the day, it's about the jimmys and joes, not the x's and o's"

-- The 1-6 record is difficult for Keim, but he expressed optimism after the way he quickly rebuilt things going into the 2013 season that it could be done again.

"It's an organizational thing, but at the same time, I take it personal," Keim said. "I'm going to put every ounce of effort into trying to get this thing turned around. I've been there before and have done it, so I understand what it looks like and that's the plan."

-- The "swag" of new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich was something Keim first noticed when he scouted Leftwich as a quarterback at Marshall back in 2002, and it's something he sees again as Leftwich takes over the offense. The foundation of the offense can't really change in midseason, Keim admitted, but with things like "tempo and creativity, I'm sure there are things Byron wants to do differently."

Keim also said he had a long conversation with Leftwich talking about what might be done to fix an offense that has struggled mightily.

"There's no doubt we have to make a lot of improvement," Keim said, "Probably some of it is getting back to basics."

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