It seemed like the question to ask, so I was asking it. Is it a relief to have this season over?
The answers were measured. Alan Faneca talked about the one plus was that the Cards were back to 0-0 moving forward. Tim Hightower talked about the wish it wasn’t over, and yet end of the nightmare that was.
“Not really a relief, but we are glad it’s over from the standpoint of all the negative that happened to this group,” cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “Now we get a fresh start.”
No question a fresh start is needed. I’m not going to get into everything right now – gotta have something to write about in the coming days – but after a 5-11 season, changes are needed, and changes are coming. That’s for sure.
“I learned a lot this year myself,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said, and I am sure everyone is curious to know how that will manifest itself.
Whisenhunt wouldn’t talk about the possibility of changes on the coaching staff. Not sure he will tomorrow morning at his season-ending presser either. I am sure he will be asked again tomorrow however, and unless he comes out and says specifically there will be no changes, I would think there’s a good chance something will happen.
– Some comments by team president Michael Bidwill during a pre-game radio interview Sunday:
On the season overall: “We did not expect to go in and have the losing streak we had, to have the offense struggle, to have the defense break down at times. I think this offseason will be dedicated to how we get better. What are the types of players we build around? What are some of the other things we can do? (We need to) make sure we provide the best Cardinal football we can.”
On specific problems: “We’ve got some areas to shore up. Obviously quarterback play was a big issue for us this year. We’ve got to get more out of our running game, we’ve got to get more out of our defense. Our defense has got to be able to stop opposing offenses on third down.”
Bidwill said the coaches will evaluate the whole roster in the next few days and then the decision-makers will meet later in the week to determine the path of the offseason.
– Not a good day for DRC. Three penalties (one was declined) and he gave up three passes of at least 20 yards. “You’re always frustrated when someone catches a ball on you,” he said. “They played well. They came out fired up, and they wanted it more bad than we did.” Rodgers-Cromartie already acknowledged his year hasn’t been the best. He needs a big rebound performance in 2011.
– Larry Fitzgerald only had 79 catches coming into the game. It’s stunning he got to 90 for the season – becoming the first player in NFL history to have at least 90 catches in five of his first seven seasons. Fitz is one of only four players in NFL history to have at least four straight seasons of 90-plus catches, joining Torry Holt (6), Marvin Harrison (5) and Jerry Rice (4).
– About not throwing to Fitz … 17 targets? They started throwing to him despite double-coverage. And he made several Fitz catches. Shades of his 2008 playoff run, I thought.
– TE Stephen Spach said his calf injury was just something that would keep him out a couple of weeks. So nothing huge, but incredibly bad timing.
– Faneca said he hasn’t made any retirement decisions. “I’m going to step away and think about things and talk with the wife, the boss and figure things out.”
– That’s it for tonight. The Cards have one final locker room availability tomorrow morning, then a meeting, then Whisenhunt will meet the media. Then an offseason of overhaul.
I’ll cover it all, so stay tuned.
Tags: 49ers, Alan Faneca, DRC, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Bidwill, Stephen Spach, Tim Hightower
Posted in Blog | 51 Comments »