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Keeping It Real

Players try to fend off negative thoughts while searching for win

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Steve Breaston and the rest of the Cardinals have to find a way to break a four-game losing streak.




Kerry Rhodes let out a chuckle.

The Cardinals safety was asked if his team's current problems were fixable, and Rhodes noted "we've been saying that for a while."

"Everything is fixable," Rhodes added. "But now, we're on our last couple of legs. We keep saying we're in it (and) we're still in it, but the reality of it is we are in trouble now."

The Cardinals, after Sunday's somewhat stunning blowout loss to Seattle, were trying to deal with their four-game losing streak Monday. Safety Adrian Wilson noted "we're in a bad place" and it was hard to argue otherwise.

Finding a way to play better was generally the thought process, however. There are seven games left, after all.

"You can't cancel the season," wide receiver Steve Breaston said.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt made his feelings known Monday. He is not going to make any personnel changes right now, saying "if it takes that at some point then you consider it, but not right now."

He's also not considering any changes on his coaching staff. Fans have been wondering about the status of defensive coordinator Bill Davis, given the defensive problems this season. "I don't believe in that, especially not in-season," Whisenhunt said. "We are going to continue to try and put our players in position to be successful."

Whisenhunt said the defensive problems against the Seahawks came down to execution. In the times when the defense was run correctly, Whisenhunt said, "it worked."

"I'm not happy about where we are," Whisenhunt said. "I can just tell you we're going to get it fixed."

Breaking the streak will come with two emotionally charged games over the next two weeks. The first attempt will be in Kansas City, where former-Cardinals-offensive-coordinator-turned-Chiefs-coach Todd Haley waits. If not there, the Cards then host rival San Francisco on "Monday Night Football."

Whisenhunt reiterated he thought the effort was there against the Seahawks, but the players were having a difficult time reasoning why – given the stakes of Sunday's matchup, where the difference of a win and loss meant the difference between first and last place – they didn't perform better.

"It's hard to kind of stay positive, but you have to," Wilson said. "You keep working. But it is discouraging.

"It's everybody. Everybody is to blame for where we are now. Either side of the ball. It's frustrating. It's sad. It's all the negative reactions you can have."

Rhodes said this is when human nature can emerge and players can look around the locker room, tempted to point fingers. The Cards have to avoid that, he added.

Getting a victory would go a long way to stemming those feelings. But it becomes a chicken-or-the-egg question, needing confidence to get a win or needing a win to regain some confidence.

"It's not tough to realize what is going on," Breaston said. "It's fact, what we are going through. This type of stuff, this is where your character comes out. You gonna lay down? Or are you gonna fight and respond?"

Reality has set in. But the Cardinals are in control of whether it will continue to be an ugly reality or not.

"We really see we're not as good as we thought we were," nose tackle Bryan Robinson said. "We're not that good -- but we will figure out how to get better."

INJURY UPDATES


The Cards are going to bring back running back Alfonso Smith to the practice squad, according to The National Football Post's Aaron Wilson. It's not a surprise; although Beanie Wells said he expects to practice this week and Whisenhunt said Wells should finally be over his knee issues, injuries to LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring) and Jason Wright (concussion) could cost them practice or even game time. Both will be evaluated as the week goes on. …

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett will continue to have his shoulder monitored. Until it is strong enough for Dockett to protect himself, he'll stay on the sideline.

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