Friday, January 11, 2013

BAJL Day 11: Because I'm Not A Total Dweeb

               The Arizona Cardinals season ended a while ago and I feel like I have had some time to gather my thoughts and opinions. I have been a fan of the Cards for about a decade now. I started watching during the 2002-2003 season and they have been my team ever since. This may not be the worst record this team has had in that time span, but this is definitely the most embarassing season as a fan. The Cards started the season 4-0 and then only won 1 of their last 11 games to end the season with a 5-11 record. In that span of time the Cards weren't even close in most of those games with some of the games, such as the 56-0 whoopin' dealt out by the Seattle Seahawks, being completely lopsided. This season was really bad because it started off so well. The Cards beat the Patriots in Massachussetts, not an easy feat, and won all three other games in thrilling fashion. The defense was playing really good football. The pieces seemed to be coming together.
              The culmination came in the game against the Buffalo Bills were the Cards kicked a 60+ yard field goal to send the game to OT. Then in OT the Cards kicker missed a much shorter attempt that would have won the game. When they lost this game, I knew the season was over. The Cards have always been a momentum football team. Tragic endings like that one, this team doesn't get over.
               After the loss to the Bills and the loss of Kevin Kolb at qb this team looked lost for the remainder of the season. The Cards have one of the best wide recievers to ever play the game in Larry Fitzgerald, and he spent most of this season wasting his potential. With no offense to speak of and the defense spending more and more time on the field, the consequences were disastrous. In a few scattered games, the defense was able to keep the score low and close, but the offense failed to move the ball. The defense racked up more turnovers this season than I remember EVER happening in any previous season but they were all for nought as the offense would just go three and out or just turn the ball back over. Even with the running game working at an acceptable level, you cannot have a one-sided offense and be successful in the NFL anymore.
                With no talent or leadership at the quarterback position the team continued to get worse and worse. Going weeks without an offensive touchdown. To make matters worse, no attempt was made by the coaching staff or management to seek out a veteran free agent qb. It may not have helped any but I would have like to seen the Cards at least give Vince Young a chance. He couldn't have done any worse than the chuckleheads that they let play did.
                 Once the season was over, the owners decided to let the General Manager go and fired Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and his entire coaching staff, except for the Defensive Coordinator. I am fine with change at manager and getting rid of Whisenhunt. I never really thought he fit the team. He came into a pass heavy offensive team with a future hall of fame qb and wr and said "We are going to run the ball. We are going to be more like the Pittsburgh Steelers". In his tenure as coach that never happened, simply because the Cards do not have the personel to be that kind of team. Many times while he was coach I questioned the play calls he made. Some ended up being tragic and causing heart-breaking losses for the team and the fans. As far as firing the Manager I am ok with that due to one mistake he made, trading Anquan Boldin. Boldin was a star for the Cardinals, he was the perfect balance to Larry Fitzgerald. He was the strong, physical, possesive receiver that all teams need. Without him, teams are now able to just double team Fitz and almost eliminate him from the game.
               I hope the Cards can get a good qb in the draft. Hopefully whoever he is can do what Andrew Luck did for the Colts, what RGIII did for the Redskins, or what Russell Wilson did for the Seahawks. As far as coaches go, they need an offensively minded head coach and pray that the defense can play as well next year as they did this year. If so, the Cards may be able to end next season with a winning record. Let's go Big Red!

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