Whisenhunt knows his seat is getting hot


The Cardinals are a charter member of the NFL, joining the league in 1920.  In 82 years, they’ve had 41 coaches.

Coach 41 knows that, by next year, the Cardinals could be hiring Coach 42.

Ken Whisenhunt recently addressed the question of how he deals with talk that his job is in jeopardy.

Everyone’s aware of that,” Whisenhunt told Doug & Wolf of KTAR in Phoenix, via SportsRadioInterviews.com.  “You’d be living in a closet if you didn’t know that that’s part of this business.  The coaches have been in it, I’ve been in it, players have been in it.  So you’re aware of it.  It’s not something that you have to talk about.”

Assuming Whisenhunt finishes the season (and he should), he’ll match Jim Hanifan as the longest-tenured coach in franchise history, at six years.

While Whisenhunt fairly should be blamed for the quarterback situation since the retirement of Kurt Warner, G.M. Rod Graves bears some blame, too, not only for the failure of the quarterback position but a lack of depth on the offensive line.

Indeed, if the Cardinals were the team they play on Sunday (the Jets), there would be extensive debate and speculation as to whether Whisenhunt or Graves should go.  And with many Jets fans believing that Ryan’s back-to-back AFC title-game appearances should give Ryan a chance to stay, the fact that Whisenhunt took the team to the Super Bowl and nearly won it arguably should tip the scales in his favor.

34 responses to “Whisenhunt knows his seat is getting hot

  1. Lots of blame to go around. I definitely blame the GM the most, but the GM is also supposed to get guys that the coach can work with that he knows he can win with. And from everything I remember hearing, Whisenhunt was vouching for his QBs and indicating he was very happy with that position. Maybe he should have turned in a different Christmas wish list instead.

    It’s time for Arizona to move on from both men, they can do better with somebody new that can get the job done. (not to mention they are in a weak division which should be easier to avoid last place)

  2. I think the whole franchise should be on the hot seat. They’ve been in business for 92 years now and have very little to show for it. Whistenhunt has given the organization its only two division titles since Gerald Ford was President.

    If you’re going to fire him, you might as well dismantle the whole franchise – or force the Bidwells to sell the team – because, clearly, their historical problems are greater than what could be caused by any one coach.

  3. Might want to recheck your math Mike. 1920 to 2012 is 92 years. Not 82 years! The Cardinals have been in the NFL for 92 years and still ain’t never won anything of significance in the modern era. They haven’t even won a SB. Ha ha! I was cheering for them against the Steelers a couple years ago. Take back Warners interception at the goal line before halftime and the Cards woulda won that SB. Geaux Saints!

  4. If the Cards truly want to emulate the Steelers organization, they should demonstrate faith in Whiz and their GM and let them know they are committed to them long-term. Swapping out coaches every few years is symptomatic of our now-now-now generation and I cannot think of one organization that has succeeded following such a pattern.

    He built a great defense and has been able to put talented skill players together on offense – once they draft a QB they will be a force to be reckoned with. That playoff run that nearly resulted in a SB win showed the strength of that coaching staff; it would truly be a mistake to act rashly and blow it all up.

    But hey if they do, the Giants are happy to hire some of your talent! Come on down.

  5. I like Whisenhunt a lot the Cardinals should keep him, and possibly get him a quarterback that’s something more than UFL worthy.

    If he is fired Whisenhunt would be my choice for the Eagles to hire once Andy is given the coup de grace from Lurie. Often times coaches given second chances in new places (Belichick, Coughlin, Dungy, and Gruden for example) experience lots of success because they are first of all great coaches but second of all have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

  6. the cardinals is a good team with bad qbs. keep signing pathetic qbs will get you into hot seat really quick.

  7. Whisenhut struck gold when he grudgingly picked by the smallest of margins to start Kurt Warner over Leinart. In fact, Leinart was Whisenhut’s leading candidate to be his starting QB until Leinart had a meltdown against the Raiders in preseason.

    All of Whisenhut’s success, including going to the Super Bowl and division and conference champtionships were directly due to having Kurt Warner call his own shots and run his own offense. Proof? All you need to see is how badly every QB has floundered and been smothered in trying to run Whisenhut’s failed offense. And yet Whisenhut will not relent on his offense and demands his QBs to bend to his system. And even worse, Whisenhut and Graves actually believe they are the reasons the Cards had success when Kurt Warner was there and that Warner was just an incidental player on their team. They demonstrated that belief very clearly when they made very little effort to resign Warner believing no one wanted Warner.

    The Cards ownership later got involved and instructed Graves to resign Warner after the 49ers owner personally sent his private jet to transport Warner and his family to the Bay area to be wooed, wined, dined and recruited to sign and play for the 49ers. Of course, Singletary, the control freak, tried to sabotage this when he told Warner that he would have to run Singletary’s offense instead of catering to Warner’s skillset. That caused Warner to pause and leave without signing to consider the 49ers big contract offer.

    By then the Cards ownership hotly demanded that Graves get off of his big butt and sign Warner, which Warner did while giving the home team a huge discount. But after Warner found out that there were no plans by Graves and Whisenhut to improve the offensive line, he retired to save his health.

  8. That’s kind of amazing given that Arizona didn’t even become a state until 1912. I take it the Cardinals began life somewhere else, possibly a state that actually had cardinals in it?

  9. Although I agree that he should be on the hot seat because he’s just as much a part of the development of talent, drafting and whatnot…

    For some of you clowns to say the Cards haven’t done anything is ridiculous. They have an NFC Championship over the past 5 years. Only 3 other teams can say that.

  10. The main problems with this team are clearly the QB and O-line. Luckily, some decent QBs will likely be available in free agency or the draft and this year’s draft is strong for offensive lineman. Graves and Whisenhunt took a big risk going into the season with their actual QBs but I think it’s pretty likely that their offense gets fixed in the off-season and that they’ll return to being a competitive team in the NFC.

  11. I don’t understand why 7-8 coaches seem to get fired every year but GMs get fired much more rarely.

    Most of the time, bad teams are bad because they have bad players. Isn’t that the GMs responsibility?

    Rod Graves has been with the Cardinals for 15 years and GM for 10 years. In those 10 years, the Cardinals are 65-95 with 2 playoff appearances.

    Yet all we get is article after article about the coach being on the hot seat. What about Graves?

  12. weepingjebus says:Nov 29, 2012 12:53 PM

    That’s kind of amazing given that Arizona didn’t even become a state until 1912. I take it the Cardinals began life somewhere else, possibly a state that actually had cardinals in it?
    Chicago, then STL

  13. Hey Bidwell. CLEAN HOUSE.
    He was not ready, Ross Grimm is a lousy O/L coach and the Bidwell’s are crappy owners.

  14. I don’t think Whisenhunt is a bad coach, overall. But he’s got the same weird problem going on that Gruden had in Tampa and Billick had in Baltimore–he’s an offensive guy yet his O is the weakest link on the team.

    Their QB situation has been almost comical. Whisenhunt inherited Warner, so he totally lucked out on that one. And who can forget the year that Leinart was cut during the preseason despite having decent stats so the tandem of Anderson/Skelton could bumble through the year? Whisenhunt will be lucky if Larry Fitzgerald doesn’t sue him for wasting the best years of his career.

  15. The coach is not the problem–the rag-tag offensive line is the problem. They can’t/won’t block at all. It’s no wonder the Cardinals have no offense. This team’s priority in the offseason should be getting quality offensive linemen in the draft and in free-agency. I’ve watched every Cardinals game this season and if that line would have blocked better, the Cards would still be in the playoff race and Kevin Kolb might never have been injured.

  16. Been a Cards fan for many years and having “enjoyed” lots of lousy seasons I can’t agree with those who think Whiz should go. He’s certainly had his struggles post-Warner, but the club does have some solid building blocks in place (excellent D, terrific group of WRs [heck, Fitz & a bunch of guys would qualify as a terrific group of WRs], good STs). Unfortunately, success in the NFL is all about the QB position and this, and their O-line, is where they’re at their worst. If they can get some decent lineman to protect for him I believe that Kolb can be successful. In other words, they aren’t (IMHO) far away from being a good team. What might be holding them back is O-line Coach Russ Grimm: he’s a buddy of Whiz and was a great lineman, but he’s been unable to mold anything good in AZ. Perhaps he should go (or be reassigned).

  17. If the ownership of the Cardinals were any competent they would have fired Whisenhunt last year. Guy lucked out on picking Warner, and he’s been riding the ghost of Warner’s coattails ever since.

  18. Still baffles me that such a great offensive mind could bungk e the QB situation so bad. Even Warner he fell into. Anyway they need to get a QB in place and he will be fine.. maybe they just shouldn’t let Whiz pick him

  19. He ought to be fired for benching Skelton for one bad pass in a game they could have/should have won, and for starting Lindley on Sunday. No excuse for it, unless the Bidwills are telling him to tank.

  20. Dump the most successful head coach they’ve ever had, after only 6 years?

    That actually sounds like something the Bidwells would do, but it would be an incredible mistake.

    I totally agree with Florio it’s baffling how they’ve handled the QB situation. But that’s how it is with plenty of teams.

    Getting rid of the coach isn’t going to get them a quarterback.

  21. It is the injuries. . .in particular to the OL. Take virtually any team in the league and will struggle if they lose BOTH starting Tackles for the year, their starting QB, BOTH Tailbacks, starting TE, and now their starting Center? Not to mention that both Pro-Bowl claiber DE’s (Dockett and Campbell) have missed time this year due to injury. The patchwork OL has actually come around in recent weeks with the two rookie tackles.

  22. That’s kind of amazing given that Arizona didn’t even become a state until 1912. I take it the Cardinals began life somewhere else, possibly a state that actually had cardinals in it?

    Oh my!

    They were the Chicago Cardinals, then the St. Louis Cardinals. And there are plenty of Cardinals (the birds) in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area.

  23. As a Card fan, I’ve supported Whiz throughout his tenure…he’s always put the best team possible on the field. Unfortunately he did not do that against the Jets…he kept Lindley when it was clear he was the worst player in the stadium on that day! Whiz is a stubborn as they come…and he let a winnable game get away! Time to move on…he’s a good coach, but he made a critical mistake just to prove a point. Ray Horton will be a HOT commodity in the offseason…they might as well move him up now and see how the team responds.

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