When the Cardinals traded for running back Kenyan Drake, both David Johnson and Chase Edmonds were injured at the time. But that alone wasn't the impetus for the move, General Manager Steve Keim said Friday.
"The mindset of going into the trade, it wasn't done because we had two backs that were injured and was sort of a stop-gap situation," Keim said during an appearance with the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station. "If that was a the case, my mindset was I would've signed a guy off the street. We truly thought this was the type of player Kenyan Drake was. That's why we made trade and hope this was the kind of success he would have."
Drake is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in March.
"As far as waiting until after the season (to re-sign Drake), that's not necessarily the thing either. I would certainly love to have Kenyan Drake back," Keim added. "I think he fits in this offense and he really has given us a spark in many ways."
(As an aside, Keim had previously noted the Cardinals, prior to the trade, had discussed internally the possibility of targeted Drake as a 2020 free agent.)
-- Keim acknowledged the Cardinals will look to upgrade in many areas, including the offensive line. But he also made it clear the Cardinals' high sack total of QB Kyler Murray wasn't all about the offensive line. Keim admitted the Cardinals have given up among the most sacks in the league, but noted the Cardinals are eighth-best in the league in terms of surrendering quarterback hurries.
"Those stats really speak for themselves, and it tells you a lot about (Murray's) style of play," Keim said. "I think Kyler would be the first to tell you there have been quite a few sacks given up that are on him. There has been times when I thought our offensive line has given him the type of protection he's needed.
"For a rookie quarterback to see things, identify and process and make quick decisions is one thing that is tough. ... Secondly, when you have a guy who has the footspeed and the wheels to get out trouble like he does, sometimes he makes too many poor decisions because he thinks he can make a play on every snap. He has to get smarter, and Kliff (Kingsbury) has talked about it over and over, about when to shut the party down."
-- But, Keim added, "there is no doubt in my mind we hit it through the roof" with Murray. His next step, Keim said this offseason, is for Murray to continue to learn how to prepare like a pro.
"It's one thing to be ultra-talented, but the guys who are the great ones, just when everybody thinks they have worked hard and done enough, those guys go above and beyond," Keim said. "There are up late night watching film, trying to find little tells that people don't see. Just so the speed of the game slows down."
-- Keim reiterated that it was good to see Patrick Peterson play so well. "There is no doubt, the way he played on Sunday, showed the kind of corner he still is," Keim said.
-- Keim also said running back David Johnson did some "good things" in the passing game against the Browns, and noted that Murray missed Johnson on a couple of swing routes that could have gone for significant yardage.
-- Keim on the future of Larry Fitzgerald: "We would love to have him back. We all know what he brings to the organization. But the one thing you want to do with a player like him is give him the respect he deserves. Allow him to make that decision on his own.
"But I will say this. This is maybe the most fun I've seen him have in the last four years. He's playing at a high level. I know he likes Kliff and I know he likes this offense. Doesn't hurt to have a guy (in Murray) who can spin it to him like this too."