The Arizona Cardinals are entering a new era under head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort. The pair are reinventing Arizona's culture and retooling the roster, looking for players who match their new team-first philosophy. One Cardinals veteran recently spoke about some of the changes the team has been making.

Cardinals running back James Conner recently appeared on the Rich Eisen Show and spoke about some of the changes in Arizona over the past two years.

“We cleansed the roster — guys who weren’t serious about football, guys who were not in it for the right reasons, guys who don’t put the team first —we slowly weeded that stuff out,” Conner said. “That’s what it takes. First we cleanse and then now we’re ready to attack.”

When asked to elaborate, Conner said it was players who “day to day, weren’t putting the team before themself.”

James Conner joined the Cardinals in 2021. He calls what the team has done with the roster overhaul a “cleanse.” Arizona has parted with notable players like DeAndre Hopkins, Isaiah Simmons, and Marco Wilson over the last few seasons. These players seem to fit the bill of what Conner is describing.

This topic brings Cardinals QB Kyler Murray to mind. Previous reports have suggested that Murray is a lazy player who doesn't put in extra effort off the field.

Gannon and Ossenfort don't seem to think so. Last fall, Gannon vigorously defended his QB's love of the game.

“He loves ball, he loves ball,” Gannon said about Murray, via Zak Keefer. “That was the other thing, the narrative on him — completely wrong. Completely wrong. Everything I’ve asked him to do, he’s done, more so. Have I challenged some of his actions that I didn’t love? Yes, and I’ve talked to him about it.”

Previewing the 2024 NFL season for the Arizona Cardinals

United States; Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) dives for extra yards against the Cincinnati Bengals
© Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cardinals have seriously overhauled their roster over the past two seasons. As a result, fans are hoping that Arizona will have one of its best seasons in several years in 2024.

Arizona has made several moves this offseason alone that will help them right away. Ossenfort attacked the team's depth in free agency, adding several reserve players on one-year deals. He also gave three-year contracts to a handful of players, including defensive tackles Justin Jones and Bilal Nichols, cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, and running back DeeJay Dallas.

The Cardinals also smashed the 2024 NFL Draft, bringing in several solid players who will become immediate contributors. Arizona drafted Marvin Harrison Jr. in the first round and made him their new top wide receiver. They also added Darius Robinson on the defensive line, Trey Benson as a running back / offensive weapon, and Tip Reiman as a backup tight end.

It is clear that Ossenfort is making smart moves in Arizona. However, that does not guarantee that they will become a successful team right away in 2024.

Arizona plays in a tough NFC West division that features NFC champions in San Francisco and other strong teams in the LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks. Both LA and Seattle will be in the Wild Card race, so the Cardinals will need to succeed within their own division if they want to enter the conversation.

That being said, I'm sure fans would be happy if the team can simply make a significant jump from its 4-13 record from the last two seasons.