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Getting A Clearer Picture

Posted Dec 10, 2012

With three games left, Bidwill will wait, players aim to stay together

Safety Adrian Wilson stares at the scoreboard late in Sunday's loss in Seattle.

Adrian Wilson dutifully stood in front of his locker Monday, a day after the Cardinals were blown out in Seattle.

Answers were hard to come by. What else was there to say, Wilson figured, other than the Cardinals played terribly?

“It’s like a snowball effect, one bad thing goes wrong, then 10 other bad things go wrong,” Wilson said. “Are we competing? Yeah, we are competing. But not at the level of the NFL.”

The day after didn’t carry with it any change for the Cardinals. There were no coaching moves, no shift from the Cards out of the ordinary. Nothing was going to happen immediately. If that wasn’t clear earlier in the day, it was emphasized when team president Michael Bidwill spoke about taking his time through the end of the season before making any moves.

Bidwill wants a “complete set of facts” and while he didn’t say it directly, it sounded like Whisenhunt, if anything happens, wouldn’t be going anywhere before the finale in San Francisco Dec. 30.

“We are living and dying with each of these losses and it’s extremely hard to watch,” Bidwill said. “I know we can do better. I know there is a lot of emotion around yesterday but I don’t intend to make any decision based on emotion.”

Whisenhunt again reiterated he wasn’t worried about his job and could control what he could control. “Adversity is part of this business,” he said.

Bidwill added he would be evaluating all aspects of the team, not a surprise given the depth of the losing streak.

“When you have lost nine in a row there is aplenty of responsibility to spread around,” Bidwill said. “Obviously injuries have been a factor but even with that, we expected a much different season than what we have got right now.”

Facing questions about their coach’s future and the mood in the locker room with three games left was what players encountered Monday.

“He’s our coach and he’ll remain our coach until someone says so,” defensive tackle Nick Eason said. “But at the end of the day, we’re the players and we’re the ones who have to go out and execute.”

Wilson said he didn’t think the team would have a problem staying together, and quarterback John Skelton spoke of “rumors” that he didn’t think originated from the locker room. Whisenhunt continued to say effort was not the problem in Seattle, rather too many mistakes – more on defense than the team had committed all season.

The tone with every player – and Whisenhunt and Bidwill, for that matter – was even and calm. Nerves were not frayed, but it didn’t mean the message was always the same.

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett addressed not starting in the game and the hefty six-figure fine he incurred for his end-of-the-Jets game incident, clearly not happy with how it turned out.

“At the end of the day, I will line up and play hard,” Dockett said. “Because I love what I do. I know you can’t play this game forever and I’m not going to let all the negativity and negative energy get me down.”

Dockett, asked if he still had faith in Whisenhunt, offered only a “no comment.” He said he had plenty of motivation to play hard the rest of the season.

“I made a commitment to (defensive coordinator) Ray Horton and my defensive line coach that I would give them everything I got, along with my teammates,” Dockett said.

Eason said Whisenhunt hasn’t lost his players, only that the team isn’t finishing the job on Sundays. They will still have three opportunities to fix that before Bidwill will have his complete package of facts.

Whisenhunt, asked about the foundation of his program slipping, noted “if you win some games that can change pretty quickly.” That would certainly provide some answers for which everyone is searching, including the fans.

“I don’t blame them for the way they feel,” Skelton said. “I am sure it’s hard to be a Cardinals fan right now.”


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