The Arizona Cardinals bring Ken Whisenhunt to the desert to attempt to perform something of a miracle; make the Cardinals competitive.
A snake bitten franchises without the history of the Raiders or the Lions, Arizona is banking on the new coach’s ability to develop a young and talented offense. So in comes Whisenhunt after Dennis Green was sent to Monster.com to post his résumé.
Whisenhunt’s previous experience molding Big Ben in Pittsburgh certainly made him a popular choice for Cardinals ownership. In the past they’ve gone with big names and unknowns and all they have to show for it is a nice stadium.
Overall, as a franchise since 1920, the Cardinals are 450-657-8. It’s bad. Playoffs are the time when the team schedules anything but games. Since 1970 the Buzzsaw have appeared in the playoffs four times. Why is the franchise a bottom feeder?
The problem in Arizona starts at the top. Despite a new, state-of-the-art stadium, the Cardinals stink. Ownership — and I won’t name them because they deserve zero respect — is among the worst in the league and their decisions directly lead to poor performance on the field. Bringing in Dennis Green was but the latest in a series of poor coaching choices. Now, for a while, the Cardinals are all board the hope-we-can-compete train. Matt Leinart provides hope, and hope is enough for any Cardinals fan.
Whisenhunt inherits a young offense and will be expected to compete immediately. The grace period given to Rod Marinelli in Detroit last year doesn’t apply to Ken. He has superior talent and the Cardinals expect to compete.
Whether expectations are too high remains to be seen. It couldn’t get much worse.