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The Three-Year Window, Cardinals Expectations, And Inevitable Change

The notion, in this case, is tucked at No. 7 among 25 "bold predictions" on, although I've heard it brought up recently in other venues. (That's what happens in the dead space right before training camps start in earnest.) Within three years, the prediction states, Kyler Murray will lead the Cardinals to an NFC West title. Certainly, that's the hope. You draft a quarterback No. 1 overall -- a year after taking a "quarterback of the future" 10th overall, and then trading him -- thinking he is the answer.

When I think about what Murray and the Cardinals will do in three seasons, though, it's not necessarily what the end result may be. It's the idea that anyone can truly project how this will play out that far in the future. Could the Cardinals win the 2021 NFC West title? I don't see why not, although there is no proof why, either.

Some context: Under the same timeline, what would be the reaction if someone would've said at this time three seasons ago -- just before 2017's training camp, with Bruce Arians as coach and Carson Palmer at quarterback -- that by now, the Cardinals would be on their third head coach? That they would've drafted a quarterback in the first round twice? That the speedy small wide receiver in the offense would be Andy Isabella and not John Brown? That Terrell Suggs would be a Cardinal and not a Raven?

Even further back, I'm not sure if people would have been making similar predictions this time in 2006 would have predicted a Super Bowl appearance led by Kurt Warner, not with that team under Dennis Green, not with rookie Matt Leinart just arriving (especially during that 1-8 start in 2006.)

And all this doesn't even include potential changes with the other three teams in the division.

The NFL tends to be very much one year at a time, which is why teams can shoot up (and down) the standings so quickly. It's realistic to think a division crown could happen just because of this. It's also realistic to think it's a long shot. I've been asked a lot what my expectations are for the 2019 season, and to me, it's simple. For a team that struggled to do anything on offense a year ago -- and was not entertaining or competitive because of it -- the Murray/Kliff Kingsbury combo needs to show growth, score some points and make it fun to watch games. The Cardinals also need to be competitive, and show they can stop the run on defense. I see more wins this year, although that should be a given with how low the bar was set in 2018. Even if it doesn't produce significantly more wins, to accomplish those goals is a great step forward -- and certainly wouldn't kill the hope of any potential division titles in the near future.

Kyler Murray primal scream media day shot 2019