There is no need for Cardinals to fire Whisenhunt immediately
Important decisions should never be made in the heat of the moment, when emotion often betrays logic. Fire Ken Whisenhunt? There's plenty of time...
Important decisions should never be made in the heat of the moment, when emotion often betrays logic.
Fire Ken Whisenhunt? There's plenty of time for that.
After a 58-0 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, this much is clear: The offense hit a new low, the defense quit in the second half and the franchise is once again a bumbling disgrace.
Yet with a losing season now guaranteed, there is nothing to be gained from firing the head coach out of anger, even if it would pacify thousands of livid fans, even if Whisenhunt is practically begging for early termination.
"There's not anything I can do about that," Whisenhunt said when asked about his job status. "We all know what this business is. I've been in it a long time as a player and a coach. I'm not worried about that."
Whisenhunt's calm demeanor might be a game of chicken with his bosses. He knows the Bidwill family will be reticent to swallow his $5.5 million salary in 2013, along with the additional costs of hiring a new coach.
Face it. The organization made him compete on the cheap coming out of the lockout, an act of pointless frugality that set this franchise back tremendously. They did nothing to reinforce the running-back or quarterback situation when injuries hurt the cause early in 2012.
And in some ways, the pressure is now on team president Michael Bidwill to prove that he can flush millions of dollars, that winning is his primary concern.
Clearly, Whisenhunt needs to be fired from his role of de factor general manager, the guy in charge of the 53-man roster. His evaluation of quarterbacks has been atrocious. He remained loyal to an unproven offensive coordinator when better options were available. His Super Bowl leverage brought him power he didn't know how to wield.
Demanding staff changes might not be palatable to a proud, stubborn man like Whisenhunt, likely making his termination a necessity. It's similar to when the Suns made it clear that Mike D'Antoni needed to change his approach after a playoff loss to the Spurs, prompting him to leave the organization in a huff.
Whisenhunt said he's had no conversation with Bidwill about his future, and unlike a 48-7 loss to Dallas in 2000, there were no overt clues that the coach will be fired the next day.
On that day over 12 years ago, General Manager Bob Ferguson walked in to the news conference, and flipped the bird in the direction of an unsuspecting Vince Tobin, who was fired the next day. Dave McGinnis replaced Tobin, but nothing changed. The team would not post a winning record until nine years later, after Kurt Warner took over at quarterback.
Same deal here. Maybe Ray Horton is a better option for the future, but promoting him now solves nothing. Why tag him with ugly losses and the kind of garbage football this offense brings to the field every Sunday?
If you prefer Todd Haley, and Bidwill is a big fan, then the housecleaning must occur at the end of the season.
This is not what the growing mob wants to hear. At Whiz We Cuss has replaced In Whiz We Trust. But ask yourself the following: Did his defense quit on him or on a pathetic offense on Sunday? Did you believe in the coach when he had a quality quarterback?
And even if it were possible, the last thing you want is an interim head coach somehow inspiring a meaningless victory that costs you a chance to draft USC quarterback Matt Barkley.
Granted, it hurts to be embarrassed by your football team. We all thought those days were over. Now, the Cardinals are again a national punch line. The other three teams in the NFC West are riding great momentum. Our team and our coach have been relegated to the basement.
It's become so bleak that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll didn't mind rubbing salt in the wound, throwing a long pass toward the end zone on fourth down with a 51-0 lead. Maybe he's convinced he'll never have to play Whisenhunt again.
Nine-game losing streaks cause great psychological damage, and the irritants are everywhere. But the issue isn't that complex. The problem is mostly one person, and that person is not Whisenhunt.
It's the guy playing quarterback. Fix that, and you won't be screaming about the coach. That's a guarantee.