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Steve Keim: Robert Nkemdiche didn’t succeed because he didn’t love football enough

After Terry McDonough accused Michael Bidwill of cheating, discrimination and harassment, Mike Florio and Chris Simms explain why the Cardinals’ attack on McDonough’s character in response feels “vindictive.”

No one ever doubted Robert Nkemdiche’s talent: Coming out of high school he was the top recruit in the country, and coming out of Ole Miss he was one of the most talented prospects in the 2016 NFL draft. But Nkemdiche never did much in the NFL, and the general manager who drafted him thinks he knows why.

Former Cardinals G.M. Steve Keim says the problem with Nkemdiche is that he didn’t have the passion for football that would lead a player to put in the kind of work it takes to be great.

“In Arizona, I drafted Robert Nkemdiche with the 26th pick overall who we thought was a Top 10 talent and there were some concerns and questions about him coming out,” Keim said in an appearance on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast, via the Arizona Republic. At the end of the day really, the guy just, in my opinion, didn’t love football enough. He didn’t succeed or play at a high level because he was in love with the process of going through the draft, being the top pick, getting money. But when it was time to grind, that wasn’t his focus.”

Nkemdiche was cut by the Cardinals after three years, then played just two games for the Dolphins and nine for the Seahawks before his NFL career came to an end. Nkemdiche is now with the Michigan Panthers of the USFL.