It’s a tradition as old as time to make New Year’s resolutions and the Arizona Cardinals should be no different. With the team set to likely have a top-five pick after an injury-plagued and frustratingly bad 2022 season, there are plenty of different directions we can go here for some resolutions.
While the popular resolutions are usually to eat healthier or stop saying swear words when the Cardinals turn the ball over, they often feel quite unrealistic. That’s why you won’t find me saying the Cardinals need to win the Super Bowl next season.
Rather, these resolutions are being made based on what should happen and what needs to happen to take the next step forward as a franchise. For the Cardinals, it’ll be about taking baby steps toward competing again.
With that being said, here are three New Year’s resolutions for 2023 for the Cardinals to follow.
Get a new staff
This feels like the most obvious need for the Cardinals headed into 2023. Steve Keim is no longer with the team and his future with the franchise is likely gone. The next step is to fire Kliff Kingsbury and move on to the next era of Cardinals football.
There will be plenty of candidates to fancy from Shane Steichen to DeMeco Ryans and of course, many will be hoping for Sean Payton to join their team. For the Cardinals, they simply need to pick a smart candidate who can energize the fan base and make the most of this roster.
While it’s unlikely we will see the Cardinals cash in on the biggest name in the market, the team does have some intriguing pieces to fancy like Kyler Murray and a potential top-five draft pick. That will certainly appeal to candidates who interview for the job.
From there, it’ll be about building the staff into the coach’s image and allowing them to create their own look and feel.
Invest in the offensive line
The Cardinals aren’t short on playmakers from DeAndre Hopkins to Marquise Brown to James Conner to Zach Ertz and more, but it’s all for naught if they can’t get the ball to them. That’s why, once again, the Cardinals must turn their attention to the offensive line.
Honestly, there is little to be happy about with the team’s current offensive line, as it is littered with replacement-level players and no standouts. D.J. Humphries is perhaps the best offensive lineman on the roster and that is in no way a good thing.
With plenty of studs available like Orlando Brown Jr. and Mike McGlinchey hitting Free Agency and a plethora of talent in the draft from Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. to Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, there are no excuses for the Cardinals to not significantly improve the offensive line in 2023.
Add talent to all three levels of the defense
Unless the Cardinals plan on scoring 30+ points a game, the team will need to improve on its 30th-ranked defense (points per game) in 2023. And there is a need for upgrades at all three levels of the unit.
Budda Baker will return and outside of him everywhere else can be upgraded. While it would be nice to retain some of the team’s own free agents like Byron Murphy or Zach Allen, the Cardinals still need to attack Free Agency and bid for high-profile players like Javon Hargrave, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, or Yannick Ngakoue.
The 2023 NFL Draft presents an even more enticing opportunity to add young talent, as Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia’s Jalen Carter are within grasp for the Cardinals to add. Either of them, plus other additions throughout the draft, will greatly help improve this unit.
For the Cardinals to have any success in 2023, they need to hit on all three of these resolutions. This won’t guarantee a Super Bowl, but at least it would get the team back on the right track again.
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