Earlier this week, with some of the Cardinals gathered for a meeting, the question was raised around the room: How many guys have been in this position? How many guys have been 10-4? How many guys have had the opportunity to play for the playoffs?
"The amount of guys that raised their hand, it was a very low number," Pro Bowl linebacker Chandler Jones said.
"There were some guys that said, 'Oh, I did my first year, second year, but it's Year 10 and I haven't been back," Jones added. "We tried to nail into these guys' brains that this roster isn't going to be the same next year. We're not going to have the same locker room. We're not going to have the same team.
"In order for us to have this position, you have to capitalize on it while you have it."
Two captains in Jones and safety Budda Baker sat at the dais Thursday, explaining the Cardinals' collective mindset. But when Jones brought up the meeting, unprompted, it also brought up memories of another era when the season had started well, got off the rails, and needed veteran leadership to lead hard conversations -- 2008, when the Cardinals eventually made a playoff run (and that coincidentally was the subject of the season finale of Folktales this week.)
That year, Kurt Warner was leading the charge.
"I remember having some meetings with the different leaders of the different groups and going, 'Hold on a sec here, guys. I know we're in the playoffs,' " Warner recently recalled. " 'But that's not why I'm here. I'm not here just to get into the playoffs. We've got to change the direction of what's going on.' "
"It's the job for me as a captain on this team and one of the leaders, as well as Budda, to get this team out of the so-called funk or the long faces," Jones said. " 'Hey let's pick it up. We can't have another loss.' "