Some were surprised when Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt woke up with a job on Monday morning. The Cardinals are mired in a massive slump and lost to division-rival Seattle 58-0, but the team’s front office has stated that they will evaluate the team and coaching situation after the season.
Ken Whisenhunt joined KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf to discuss what happened in Arizona’s 58-0 loss to Seattle, why he doesn’t believe his players quit, believing in his system, the Seahawks seemingly running up the score and his job security with the Cardinals.
What happened in the 58-0 loss to Seattle?:
“I think the first thing, obviously, is turnovers, when you’re playing against a good football team. We did some good things early, moving the football offensively, and then we had a big turnover. Defense stepped up and held them to three points. Started moving the ball again, and then just didn’t make some plays that we needed to make. We had a lot of mistakes. … I know one of the questions you’re going to ask, and I was asked about this earlier is, ‘Was this a lack of effort and did the guys quit?’ The answer to that is, ‘No, they didn’t.’ Guys played hard the whole game. … But when it’s in that situation, and you turn the ball over in succession like we did in the second quarter, and you get down the way you do, obviously they can take chances and make it difficult for you.”
What is it that you look for, as a former player, that lets you know your guys didn’t quit?:
“Their effort. I’m looking at how they chase the ball, how physical they are in the game, and who’s trying to make plays. Guys didn’t want to come out; they were upset. They wanted to get it right. Everyone’s going to have their opinions on what they see or make assumptions based on what you see from a score perspective, but let’s face it, there’s not much you can say about it, other than it was an awful job. … But if you sit here and dwell on it too much, it’s going to affect you going forward.”
Some people are calling for change, yet you’ve take this team to the Super Bowl in the past. How do you get back to that?:
“When I talk about a system, we’re not talking about schemes and running plays. We’re talking about how we prepare, how we work, the type of players that we bring in here. This has been a tough year; we’ve had a number of injuries at critical spots. We’re playing with a number of different players, and that makes it tough. I’m not going to sit here and make excuses for it, because in the NFL, nobody really cares. But I think, ultimately, you know, everything that you’ve gone through in the years before … you know that that works.”
Did you have a problem with Pete Carroll going for it on fourth down and taking a shot down the field?:
“The way I look at it, we’ve got a job to do and our job is to stop them. That’s really what it comes down to, and we didn’t get that done. We’re focused on doing a better job of controlling what we can control, and that’s playing better.”
Were you worried Sunday that you might get fired?:
“No.” Monday, when you heard that your future with the Cardinals would be evaluated after the season, how did that make you feel?: “It hasn’t changed anything about the way I prepare or what I believe in. I don’t understand that question. I can’t control anything about that other than what we do on the field, the way we approach it with our players, and what you’ve done as far as handling yourself. … Those kind of things are not in my control. There’s a lot of speculation out there about things, and that’s the way the NFL is. I’m not naive to think that’s not going to happen. I understand that that’s a part of it, but I’m still going to do my job and work hard and believe in what I’m doing.”