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Steve Keim: With DeAndre Hopkins And Practice, 'Everybody Is Different'

Keim proud of the strides Reddick has made

DeAndre Hopkins is on his way to a Pro Bowl season and a good chance to be an All-Pro for a fourth straight season. Cardinals GM Steve Keim was asked Friday during his latest appearance on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station, about Hopkins missing practice -- the receiver usually takes a vet's day on Wednesdays, and this week, he did not practice either Wednesday or Thursday, both of which were listed as non-injury-related.

"Every player is different," Keim said. "The way their body responds throughout the season, they know how to practice and how not to practice. We lean on our medical staff, (head athletic trainer) Tom Reed and those guys do a great job. That's where we're at, trying to make sure he's ready to go on Sundays and again, everybody is different in their preparation.

"Certainly excited about Hop, and as you can see in the statistical books, pretty excited what he's brought to the team."

-- Keim gave a hug to linebacker Haason Reddick in the moments following Reddick's five-sack game against the Giants, and said it was about the journey Reddick had gone through to get to this point.

"I just know how tough this business can be and how it can eat away at your soul and the stress is unbearable at times," Keim said. "I told him a couple of months ago at practice that I was proud of him then, and it was just because he never complained, he never made excuses, and he just went out and worked every day."

-- Kicker Zane Gonzalez continues to deal with a back injury, but Keim said again he is optimistic about Gonzalez's future.

"He does have a tremendous amount of talent and I sort of equate it to the game of golf," Keim said. "Guys who can sort of get out of rhythm or get a little funky with their swing, and it just takes a few things to dial back in, to get the focus back and the consistency. It is a funny position. Most kickers go through that a period of their career.

"There is a fine line of knowing when it's time to move on. Again, Zane is a guy who has a tremendous amount of talent and I still think he's going to have a great career in the NFL. It was nice to see (Mike) Nugent step in, a guy who has been Steady Eddie his entire career."

-- Keim said the victory in New York was "one of our most complete games" in terms of all three phases, with the defense and special teams dominant.

-- There were some tweaks to the offense, Keim acknowledged, including Kyler Murray under center. "To throw some wrinkles in and do some different things, and certainly we got some of the play-action game going, I think those are things you will continue to see, Kliff (Kingsbury) moving guys around, Kliff using different personnel packages, to give defenses a tough time."

-- Andy Isabella, inactive last week, has made some strides, Keim said. "You want to continue to see him grow and develop as a player," Keim said. "It's the little things. It's not just one thing you say he's lacking. He's just got to continue to play more football coming from a smaller school. The more he plays, the better he's going to get, and he's the vertical threat we need out there."

-- Keim was asked about developing players and how players are viewed from the personnel side of things compared to coaching. "As Bill Parcells used to say, coaches have 'binky players,' those guys who they want to trust and want to lean on because they know their system and they understand schematically what they are asked to do. Whereas your personnel guy is saying, 'Put the big fast guy out there.' But the run the wrong way. It's a fine line between having the best talent on the field with the people who are going to make the least amount of mistakes."

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