The Arizona Cardinals 2022-2023 season is for sure one to forget for the players and coaches involved, from a M.A.S.H unit of injuries all season to a highly undisciplined team from a mental standpoint leading the league in penalties.
If beating yourself was a stat the Cardinals would be leading that in every category going away, mental errors that erase first downs, a Head Coach that takes points off the board by going for fourth down at the wrong time, and players that don’t tuck the ball away to secure possession.
These should all be categories and the Cardinals would have the records to break in all categories the last three seasons.
The current season will be much remembered by all of the key injuries that slowed down progress, along with being an undisciplined team the Cards look more like the worse team in the league rather than one that was not yet mathematically playoff eliminated.
Tonight he Cardinals lost the most valuable piece to their team puzzle on the third play of the game losing star quarterback Kyler Murray to a non-contact knee injury, which looks to be in the ACL or MCL or possibly both category.
Murray ran out to his right and unconventionally tried to cut back in the field of play, where he would usually take the less risky decision and run out of bounds. The cutback attempt was one where the player sticks his foot hard and fast in the turf to gain an advantage over the defender, a (juke move), Murray is well known for, and the knee just gave way to his body weight and Murray went instantly to the turf in pain.
Kyler was carted off the field and the air in the building was let out in the process, while every player on the field and some off the bench came out to show love to Murray as he was in tears riding to the locker room. The air went out the building right along with Kyler and the game took on a very different vibe to follow.
The MRI will determine the severity of the injury in the morning, and we will not see Murray the rest of this season and perhaps some of next year as he will most likely be rehabbing through the off-season.
Then there was a game to be played after that devastating injury to the starting quarterback, and for at least one quarter the Cardinals looked like they were playing for their injured teammate.
Backup Colt McCoy came in the game and the offense played almost angrily, as they gashed the good Patriot run defense for 60-plus yards in the half and moved the ball up and down the field in the passing game.
Then the Cardinals looked down as they were standing on the ledge and reality hit them that they are not the team that wins games this big, and they begin to sink themselves with all of those mental error categories we spoke of earlier.
A potential touchdown drive was stopped by a motion penalty against Hollywood Brown that negated a big third and long conversion, and they had to settle for a Matt Prater field goal attempt.
They would miss that field goal attempt from 50 yards out and that set the tone for the rest of the game, that the Cardinals after 14 weeks have still yet to clean up their mental errors.
The game was decided on a mental error by veteran Wide receiver Deandre Hopkins, when the game was tied at 13, Hopkins catches a ball over the middle and had no thought of protecting the ball in such a crucial moment, getting the ball hit out of his hand and it was returned for a Patriot game leading touchdown.
This is a coaching problem with no doubt, good coaches go over all these game-time situations to be able to execute at a high level, reiterating to players that desperate teams will be ball hunting so taking care of the ball is paramount.
Drills in practice teach players to hold the ball high and tight at all times, this is what good teams do on a weekly basis.
The question will have to be, what are the consequences for every mental error that is committed during practice and a game? What does a player have to fear from the coaching staff when they are not doing the things that correct the same problems after 14 weeks.
Kliff Kingsbury is way too passive as a coach leading men, and the men he is attempting to lead do not see him as a disciplinarian and therefore they don’t do what it takes to mentally prepare themselves to not make the same mistakes week in and week out.
The writing has to be on the wall for the firing of a coach that players do not respect, and the results we have seen is the clear evidence that this is the case.
One may ask what proof is there that proves that Kingsbury may not be respected as a Head Coach? Well, I would say just looking at the sidelines as players are calling him by his first name rather than “coach” as every well-respected coach is called.
It’s one thing for a player to call a position coach by his first name, and there are not that many positions coaches not called “coach”, if they are called by their first name, it usually has the word “coach” before that name.
To call the Head coach by his first name is very disrespectful and even worse is that coach doesn’t demand to be called coach by every man, even the star players.
Coaching can be likened to a Parent and a child relationship in some ways, when a child goes undisciplined they develop death ears to discipline and become reckless, and don’t grow to maturity, and there is a point of no return when trying to reverse that behavior cannot be done.
At this point, it’s time to get a disciplinarian involved in the Child’s life before it’s too late, much like sending the child off to Military school where they can learn to be disciplined.
So yes the answer at this point is to remove the one that does not know how to discipline and get a well-respected guy that has matured men before on his resume, and that would be the firing of Kliff as head coach of the Cardinals.
There is a thin line between being a players coach and a push-over, and Kliff is that guy that wants the players to like him as a friend or one of the guys, and when it’s time for discipline, the team may laugh at his efforts of trying to be serious.
The Patriots beat the Cardinals 27-13 on Monday Night Football, and Kliff had an opportunity to show some discipline himself by taking the points before halftime and going in leading 16-7, instead, he goes for it and fails, allowing the Patriots the opportunity to drive in .37 seconds to get a field goal to make the halftime score 13-10 and all momentum handed right over to the road team.
There are four games remaining in the nightmare season and it will be finished by Colt McCoy as the starting quarterback, but should it finish with Kliff Kingsbury as its leader?
We will see what happens going forward, but I get the feeling Kliff may be coaching in the NFL for four more games, and will perhaps turn up at some low-level college program somewhere in the country in the future.