Respected Principles Helped Keim, Arians Form Unique Bond

Stability isn’t a word associated with many professional teams.

In this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world coaches and high-ranking officials can come and go if their “time” has expired and ownership believes a change of direction is needed.

A common thread with consistent winners like the St. Louis Cardinals, San Antonio Spurs or the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks is continuity within the workplace amongst the decision makers.

Here in the Arizona, Cardinals’ general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have formed their own bridge of communication, success and most importantly trust. The Cards have registered double-digit wins the past three seasons, including 13 this year.

“It started three years ago when we were hired in these particular positions,” Keim told’s Brad Cesmat about his relationship with Arians. “It was all about having clearly defined roles and staying in our lane.”

General managers and head coaches overlapping lanes can often lead to violent crashes leaving one, sometime both parties updating resumes and looking for work.

Arians knew early on he and Keim would work well with one another.

“Within the first week,” he said. “In the interview process we watched some film together of the guys that were here and talked about what we were looking for…we had the same language.”

Coincidentally, the two grew up about 10 miles apart in Pennsylvania and didn’t know one another well but according to Keim had a “tremendous amount of respect for each other” before becoming co-workers in January of 2013.

Keim credits team president Michael Bidwill for providing the resources and platform to build a consistent, stable winner in the Valley.

“We have a good opportunity here to do something special,” said Keim. “It’s about having respect for each other and buying into the process early on. Obviously, the longer you work you grow and get closer and we continue to have a great relationship.”

The two have formed an NFL match made in heaven and the Bird Gang couldn’t be happier.