Fire Whisenhunt: Arizona Cardinals Need a Solution to Their Offensive Woes. Here It Is.
Expect a lot more of this in '09.
As Da Cards head to Chi-Town for a Soldier Field showdown with Jay Cutler and Da Bears on Sunday, many in Da PHX are still smarting from the Birds' 34-21 mugging by the Carolina Panthers and the world's worst quarterback, Jake Delhomme, last weekend in Glendale.
The fragrant home loss underscored, yet again, the need to address the Arizona Cardinals' out-of-whack offense and slovenly 1-3 record at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Personally, we're not sure what the angst is about. To us, the answer is as clear as the polka dots on Bill Bidwill's bow tie.
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Okay, stop screaming at us. We like the dude, too.
What we mean is that it's high time Coach Whiz shed his play-calling duties and "demoted" himself to the position he was born to hold: NFL head coach.
When former offensive coordinator Todd Haley took the head job in Kansas City, Coach Whiz -- who's done almost everything else right during his tenure in the desert, including replacing the middling defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast with promising Bill Davis -- decided to handle the OC/play-calling duties himself. It seemed like a natural fit. Kinda sorta.
Whiz was OC in Pittsburgh for three years before taking the Cards gig, and he helped mold Ben Roethlisberger into an NFL-caliber QB. Hell, Coach Whiz and Big Ben even won a Super Bowl together following the '05 season.
But as this season grinds on, with the high-powered, highly paid offense repeatedly sputtering and the maddening checkdowns to Tim Hightower mounting, it becomes increasingly obvious that Todd Haley and QB Kurt Warner had a special chemistry -- and a knack for inventive, complex offensive machinations -- that Whisenhunt and Warner lack.
Haley dreamed up balls-out, talent-specific schemes. Whisenhunt is trying to run a Steelers-style O with Arizona Cardinals players.
Consider Warner's grim stat sheet from last week. But even the QB's five interceptions and a fumble against the Panthers don't tell the tale. The weekly looks of frustration on Warner's grizzled mug say a mouthful. So do Warner's carefully crafted postgame quotes, which contain the sort of veiled criticism that this ultimate team player rarely dabbles in.
Here's a telling example from a November 4 Arizona Republic piece: "We haven't been as good [this year]. . . . I think we haven't been as tight in our details as we were last year. Where we weren't real tight in our route running, we made a play. Where I wasn't perfect with my reads, we made a play. When we didn't have perfect protection, we made a play. We had guys make up for some our deficiencies."
Oh, yeah -- and you had offensive madman/perfectionist/genius Todd Haley calling the plays.
For his part, Whisenhunt is either being pigheaded or dense about the Cards' offensive woes and the (fairly obvious) solution of kicking himself back upstairs and hiring a dedicated coordinator to call the on-the-field shots.
We suspect pigheaded, 'cause Whiz is not stupid. Regardless, seems there's no way this coach would make such a (balls-out) move during the season, so prepare yourself for nine more games worth of a scowling Warner tossing dinks-and-dunks to Tim Hightower.
The Cards and Bears, both 4-3, tangle at 1 p.m. Sunday. TV: FOX. Radio: KTAR-FM 92.3. More info: www.azcardinals.com.
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