Whiz talks change

Posted by Darren Urban on January 3, 2011 – 11:42 am

Coach Ken Whisenhunt just had his season-ending presser. Change is coming, he said — “When you go 5-11 … it has to be that way” — but he was short on specifics. Not a shock. Whisenhunt isn’t going to call people out publicly. Never has been his style.

–Very interesting comment from Whisenhunt about how “sometimes you get emotionally attached to players and what they have done for you in the past.”

“You may have a tendency to overlook certain things … When you win games, sometimes you let things slip a little bit, ‘OK, he didn’t make this play, he’ll make it the next time.’ That builds up over time and you start evaluating players based on what you remember them doing a year or two or three or four ago and maybe not candidly assessing where they are right now. That’s an easy trap to fall into … and you have to work past that.

So be more cold-hearted? “There’s a fine line there.”

As for players who underachieved this season, that has to change. “Their goodwill is used up.” And as for the “star” players, “Some of our best players didn’t play at their best.”

Let the speculation begin on which players about whom he is speaking.

I know this, that safety Adrian Wilson said while some players cared, some didn’t. He said sometimes, it was “hidden” to many. Asked if he could still see it, Wilson said “I’ve been here 10 years. I’ve seen a lot of bull(bleep).”

— There is a story out there saying WR coach John McNulty was the front-runner for the University of Miami offensive coordinator job. Whisenhunt said McNulty said he has not been contacted about the position. It’s just a rumor for now.

— Speaking of the coaching staff, Whisenhunt said he wasn’t saying anything less than 24 hours removed from the last game. “We have started the process already of evaluating and we are going to evaluate everything (including coaches). I know there will be changes, I don’t know what that will encompass, but we are going to work to make sure we don’t have another season like this.”

Something to keep in mind: With the labor uncertainty and the possibility the offseason could be lost, Whisenhunt said teams must be careful about new coaches and new schemes because there’s a chance there will only be three weeks or so to implement anything new, rather than a whole offseason. That’s a factor right now.

— Passing game coordinator Mike Miller could end up as the playcaller next season. But Whisenhunt, asked if he thought his own playcalling made it hard for him to manage the big picture, noted the 10 wins the Cards had in 2009 when he was calling plays. “What you have to be careful about is basing it off of one season (this season). I don’t feel like it does (hurt us).”

— Whisenhunt didn’t change his thoughts on the handling of the quarterback situation, after being asked directly about having regrets or second-guessing on the situation. “I think we were fair and honest about the process.”

He was asked if he felt Matt Leinart would have provided more wins.

“That’s a question I don’t think can ever be answered,” Whisenhunt said. “I did what I felt was in the best interest of our team at the time. It was based on performance, it was based on the reaction of the team to the players and who was in there and the confidence our team had in the position being able to execute. That’s what it was all about. It was based on the work in the offseason and the work in OTAs and training camp. That’s the way you have to evaluate players. Who knows? It’s a question that can’t be answered, but I am sure it is a popular topic.”

— LB Clark Haggans (sports hernia) and CB Michael Adams (shoulder) are the two players scheduled for offseason surgery for now.

Here’s a shot of Wilson and Kerry Rhodes wrapping things up. More later today on the homepage.

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