Ken Whisenhunt got a game ball from team president Michael Bidwill after the Cleveland game for setting the franchise record for coaching wins, an exclamation point on the Cards’ monumental climb from 1-6 back to .500 (because certainly, at 1-6, it didn’t seem likely Whiz would get the seven wins needed this season to set the mark).
Whisenhunt was chatting with reporters when it was suggested the result had the season gone the other way — say, the Cards started 6-1 and then went on a 1-6 skid.
“They’d be taking the game ball back,” Whisenhunt said with a chuckle.
That might be extreme, but it goes to show that all win-loss records aren’t created equal. There is more than .500 that comes out of what the Cards have accomplished so far, and certainly it is better had .500 been reached the other way around.
“To be honest, if there is a logical way to do it, this is the way you want to do it,” Whisenhunt said. “Your younger players are learning how to do it when it’s been as tough as it possibly can be. That makes you stronger as a team. If you win and don’t know any different, then when you lose it can be catastrophic.
“(Now) the young players understand the standard. Now when new players come in, free agents and rookies, you have a group of guys who won’t accept anything less.”
It goes beyond that. To start really well and have a season run off the rails suggests complacency at best and internal problems at the worst. To start poorly and finish strong suggests the learning Whiz referred to, while to start fast and slide suggests fluke (ask the Buffalo Bills these days). Certainly it’s a different vibe heading into the offseason. The season isn’t over yet — I think at this point, the Cards have to finish at least 8-8 to feel good — but it feels like a whole new team.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Michael Bidwill
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