Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A season's turning point

From all indications, the turning point in the Cardinals' season came on Dec. 21 when the team traveled to a snowy New England where the Patriots beat them by 40, to drop Arizona to 8-7 after a 7-3 start.

According to this story, Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt "later acknowledged that he was deeply concerned about his club" and where it was headed, though "he never let the magnitude of those feelings come to the surface on that day."

Instead, he made like a jockey heading down the homestretch, unhappy with his position on the track but determined to crack the whip a bit harder to see if he could coax one last charge out of his horse.

Because bad weather delayed the team's return to Phoenix, the team was forced to sit at the airport for four hours, during which the seriousness of the loss sank in.

"I was pretty angry with the way we played. That set the tempo with how I handled the team and how we practiced that week. I think we got back to what we needed to get back to. I think there was a sense of urgency that week.

Obviously, your pride as a coach is hurt because of the way you were beaten so thoroughly in that game, but I was more concerned about what we needed to do to get the team ready for the playoffs because I felt like we had a good enough team that if we played better that we could win some games.

My focus at that point was, 'What do we have to do to get this team ready to go this next week so we'll have something to build off?' Somewhere in that week, we found ourselves again. Adversity makes you stronger."