If Steve Keim is concerned about what the Cardinals are getting out of running back David Johnson in relation to his contract, he's not saying it. Friday morning during the GM's appearance on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station, Keim noted that no one puts more pressure on Johnson to perform well more than Johnson himself.
As for the criticism because of Johnson's big contract that he signed last year, "it's unfair to a degree," Keim said. "It's all about opportunities and there are a number of things that go into it, whether it is scheme, the number of touches he has had, trying to get acclimated to the new system. David has a lot of good football ahead of him and we are excited where he is at."
-- Keim echoed the comments of coach Kliff Kingsbury when it came to the release of veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree after a month on the roster and only three regular-season games.
"There are a lot of questions the fans and media would have about that, but it really comes down to getting opportunities for the young players," Keim said. "Andy (Isabella) and KeeSean (Johnson) have shown us a lot of things in practice that get us excited about their future."
Keim reiterated Isabella's ability to "take the top off the defense" was going to be important, and it'll be interesting to watch what happens with Isabella's usage as the weeks go by.
-- With the defending-the-tight-end issue, it "starts with me," Keim said, in regard to having enough personnel. "But this league is about mismatches, and the first couple of weeks we got exposed by the tight ends," Keim added. "We have got to figure out a way the limit the catches and yards these tight ends are getting on us."
Keim then mentioned linebacker Haason Reddick, and said Reddick has been making important strides as he gets back to full strength after his knee injury.
-- Consistency is what comes next for quarterback Kyler Murray, Keim said. Like the Cardinals as a whole, Murray needs to put together an entire game of quality play. As for the eight sacks suffered last week, Murray will learn to cut that number down, Keim added.
"When you say Kyler Murray eight sacks, I also say Kyler Murray experience and growing as a player and (we're) excited where he is going and what he's going to do for us in the future," Keim said.
-- There was a question about potential trades that didn't name names but was thinly-veiled question about disgruntled players like Trent Williams and Jalen Ramsey.
"Every decision we make is about opportunity," Keim said, noting factors like the salary cap and financial considerations. "What makes us better right now and what makes us better in the future? We look at every opportunity. We have to be smart about building this thing going forward."