Friday before the Chargers

Posted by Darren Urban on August 23, 2013 – 2:27 pm

Darnell Dockett was asked if he would say hi to Ken Whisenhunt before Saturday’s game against the Chargers.

“Of course,” Dockett said of his former head coach, now San Diego’s offensive coordinator. “I have nothing against Coach Whiz. Wish him much success at San Diego. At the end of the day, it’s about the players on the field.”

Dockett and Whiz had butted heads at the end of last season, but time goes on. If Saturday’s game was in the regular season, if it meant something in the standings, Whisenhunt’s return to University of Phoenix Stadium would be a bigger story. It probably would help if there were some time and distance between his firing and now, too. But it’s tough not to notice too.

Patrick Peterson hasn’t forgotten he scored a touchdown on an interception in his first University of Phoenix Stadium game against the Chargers in the preseason of 2011. Reminded of that, Peterson said “hopefully I can get another pick-6 — especially on coach Whisenhunt.”

Peterson smiled. “It was a great two years with him. I’m happy for him he got another job. We miss him around here but we have a bunch of new faces that will help us turn the corner.”

Whisenhunt spoke to a couple of outlets in Arizona this week about his return trip, both with Kent Somers and Mike Jurecki. On Jurecki’s show (on Fox Sports 910 Phoenix), Whiz mostly talked about the support the fans gave him and the friends he made in the organization and said he wasn’t sure what response he will get in the stadium Saturday.

“It didn’t end the way we wanted it to but there are a lot of great memories,” Whisenhunt said. “I really don’t know. It will be different for me because it’ll be the first time I will be in the stadium where I am not a Cardinal.”

The holdover players will likely move over and greet Whiz before the game. That’s to be expected. From there, well, it is just preseason. Right?

“There will be a ceremonial dap or two, say hi,” guard Daryn Colledge said, “but then again I know he’ll have a mindset in making a point.”

As for the rest of the game – and the fact it is the “important” third preseason game on the slate:

— The starters are supposed to go into the third quarter against the Chargers. I don’t expect any surprises in the starting lineup and I’m not sure we’re going to get any changes before the opener, although Bruce Arians has not said for sure he’s settled on anything.

— Given the red-zone issues last week, that will be something very important to watch. The team worked on it again in practice Thursday and methinks the head coach needs to see progress in that area.

— The Cards were into practicing-like-it’s-regular-season-game-week mode this week, which makes sense going into the game where the starters will play the most. That included dressing linebacker Kenny Rowe in a red “93” jersey much of the week (the rest of the defense was wearing white) to know where pass rusher Dwight Freeney would be.

— Curious to see how much time Mike Thomas gets at receiver. He just showed up so he probably isn’t familiar with a ton yet. And Arians, earlier in the week, noted Jaron Brown and Kerry Taylor are next up beyond the “big three” receivers for playing time. Does Thomas have to wait to get much time, at least until Denver?

— Big game for Karlos Dansby, just in terms of seeing him on the field. Didn’t play the first two weeks, probably won’t play a lot against the Broncos. But he practiced all week and this will be a good tune-up.

— If this is the game in which the main players are going to get a lot of time, does that mean Patrick Peterson gets a few offensive reps? It’s going to be very interesting to see how much time on the offensive side of the ball he does get when games begin to count.

— Ryan Williams will likely be suited up. But again, if this is about the guys in the main rotation, Williams is going to have to cut in line to get much work. And you still have to wonder how much work he can handle with one practice in three weeks.

— Don’t forget about the bag policy if you are going to the game. Remember, the bag policy.

— Larry Fitzgerald turns 30 next week and is feeling the pinch of Father Time. If you didn’t see it, here’s my story.

— The Cardinals currently have 88 players on the roster. They must trim to 75 by Tuesday (although I’d guess their cuts will be before then. There will be practice Monday.) If you wonder about who is getting cut, keep an eye on the players who do not get a snap against the Chargers. If you are going to release someone, you don’t want them getting hurt.

— Once, as noted by Bob Glauber deep in this piece about Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez, reigning Super Bowl winning QB Phil Simms not only played in the fourth preseason game, but he played the whole game. As he noted, he’s not sure when the third game became the important one.

— Yet we do know, thanks to Denny Green, this game doesn’t count, but it matters. After all, who takes the third game of the preseason like it’s … well, you know.

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Posted in Blog | 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “Friday before the Chargers”

  1. By Chris B on Aug 23, 2013 | Reply

    Something tells me that it will be years before the Denny Green 3rd preseason game line goes away.
    Likewise whenever the Cardinals play the Bears.

    The dead horse keeps being resuscitated.

  2. By mal on Aug 23, 2013 | Reply

    I have rooted for this team since I was a kid in Illinois in the 1950’s, through all those endless losing seasons year after year after year after year…

    Yes, Ken Whisenhunt finished his time here as a dud with a thud, but that coach led us to the frickin Super Bowl.

    The division title, all those play-off wins, and then just moments — literally seconds — away from WINNING the Super Bowl: it was a magical time.

    No matter how horrible terrible awful these last few seasons have been, I will always remain loyal to Coach Whiz.

  3. By Leeskicitizen on Aug 23, 2013 | Reply

    I would hope that the Cardinal’s fans at the game exhibit class and give Wiz a standing ovation for the good he brought to the team that led us to where we are right now.

  4. By CDJ on Aug 23, 2013 | Reply

    Richard marshall signed with the chargers, im kind of glad so people wont keep suggesting we sign him

  5. By Steve on Aug 23, 2013 | Reply

    Darren: Thanks for posting this piece on Whisenhunts return to UOP stadium, It will be interesting to see how he does with Philip Rivers and the Chargers this season.

  6. By truths4all on Aug 23, 2013 | Reply

    Whisenhunt ran the franchise from being a Super Bowl participant into the cellar by his arrogance and his disdain for Kurt Warner’s role in leading the team to winning titles and to the Super Bowl. Whisenhunt never, ever gave credit to Warner, whom he saw as a washed up QB who got lucky under Whisenhunt’s “genius.” All that arrogance and BS was unmasked when Warner decided to walk away after Whisenhunt and Graves refused to upgrade the offensive line to protect Warner. If they had agreed to do so, Warner would have stuck around to play a few more years instead of walking out of his contract and leaving millions on the table.

    Yeah, Whisenhunt whose “system” proved to be full of Bull without Kurt Warner has been proven beyond all doubt to be a Faker and pretender. He claimed to be have a special talent for developing QBs, but failed to develop any QB during his time here. Even Big Ben has publicly stated Whisenhunt hurt his development as a NFL QB instead of helping him. And to this day, Whisenhunt still thinks his “system” was the reason the Cards went to the Super Bowl. What a load of carp!!!

  7. By Jerry on Aug 23, 2013 | Reply

    It’ll be different seeing Whiz on the other side, you think he’ll try and call some plays for us lol. Its good that our players can be mature and give him respect.

  8. By david on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Who’s starting @ FS?

  9. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    David —

    RE: FS

    Rashad Johnson

  10. By Eazy E on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Welcome back Coach Whiz and Fitz ain’t close to being defeated by father time. Also, Darren got jokes?!

  11. By Eazy E on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Father time don’t beat everybody?!

  12. By Dynosoar on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply


    I’m with you! It may not have gotten done in the end the way we wanted, but years ago after another blowout victory in the Super Bowl the statement was made many times that the blowout wasn’t entertaining and the Super Bowl has been a close victory ever since.

    I was telling all my family and friends during last years SB how I was stunned the game was going to end outside the traditional point spread and then after what seemed an eternally long break, the walk off safety. It was brilliant how the point spread was covered. Absolutely brilliant. (Conspiracy, I don’t know, but it was the most clever play I can ever remember anywhere to keep those theories alive. Haha. Entertaining.)

    As gut wrenching as that loss was, in those last few seconds we were outplayed, but our team under Whizenhunt took us there and that playoff season restored my passion for the Cardinals. A passion that began as a kid in the Jim Hart, Roy Green and Ottis Anderson days, but had faded through the years.

    The hiring of Bruce Arrians and Steve Keim and their offseason work has fueled that passion and the flames run high.

    I believe! And I’m looking forward to a grand exciting season and seeing our Cardinals get Flexed into prime time games so I can watch more than one game of regular season this year.

    Thank you Whiz for the good memories. I wish they could’ve brought us more victories. B.A., I’m pleased as punch your here. (I say this fully knowing neither of these two probably has time to read this.)

    Until we lose, here’s to 23-0! (Just as long as we don’t end with 12-8 or lower I’ll be pleased, may not be satisfied, but I’ll be pleased.)

  13. By Dynosoar on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Make that 13-7 or lower.

  14. By red bird of death! on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Whiz has to get treated with respect, Cardinal fans are class acts bottom line. Those last few years were some of the worst, but those first few were some of the best for me as a fan and Whiz had helped a lot with that. I wish him all the best, GO CARDS!!!

  15. By C.M PUNK on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    this is a response to chris b



  16. By Chuck 1 on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Mike Ellingboe,

    Where are you?
    We need your insightful comments/observations.

  17. By NYCardinals on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply


    I started to refute everything you wrote, but then I decided it was going to take too much time. Instead, I’ll give you a quote regarding Whisenhunt’s contribution to the Arizona Cardinals:

    “Look what coach Whisenhunt did here with this organization. No success for however long, he comes in, turns it around, wins a couple division championships, goes to the Super Bowl. (He) did some amazing things that nobody has really done here before. That to me is why you have to give a strong look to somebody like Coach Whisenhunt.”

    Kurt Warner
    (on Whisenhunt’s firing)

  18. By NYCardinals on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply


    Whisenhunt’s relationship with Ben:

    “There was some stuff made in the media,” Roethlisberger said. “I said things, he said things. I actually got to talk to him. We talk a lot, and I apologized to him and told him that I didn’t mean him any wrong. I’ve never lost a coach before in high school. I had the same coach and in college. When (Whisenhunt) left, I didn’t know what to think. I was young and kind of stupid at the time and made comments.

    “I didn’t really feel it; it just came out at the top of my head. I’m glad that we talked. People don’t realize that we’ve talked throughout the season, we text each other stuff. It was good to see him — actually talk to him — face to face and get it all out there. We’re on a good level right now.”
    Roethlisberger said this week one reason he lashed out at Whisenhunt was because of the genuine hurt of Whisenhunt leaving. Roethlisberger’s words were refreshingly candid and emotional.

    “I told him I almost felt abandoned,” Roethlisberger said Thursday. “Now I know that you’re in the league a couple years, you know that it’s a business. You know coaches leave and you know players leave, they do what is best for themselves and their family.

    “When you come from high school and college, you don’t really experience that. At first I was probably a little hurt, I felt kind of betrayed that he just left us and abandoned us. Now I know that it wasn’t that at all. I was just glad I got a chance to talk to him in person and tell him about it.”


  19. By NYCardinals on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply


    OK, this is the last one. This is Warner in an interview, talking about Whisenhunt being hired in San Diego.

  20. By NYCardinals on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply


    OK, OK, this is really the last one. Whisenhunt talking about Warner to the media before the Super Bowl.

    “Kurt, to his credit, worked very hard on some of the things that we asked him to do: ball security, moving in the pocket, decisions on his reads. I think a great deal of the success he’s had is because of that work he’s put in. Kurt has never been afraid to work, and obviously because of our success, I’m very excited with the way he’s played but anytime a veteran player has had great success and then not had it, it’s always something you admire, to see him come back to that level again which Kurt obviously never felt was an issue.”

  21. By NYCardinals on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry, I left out two of the four sources:

    Sorry Darren, I’ll stop. I didn’t mean to clutter up your blog.

  22. By Safety Guy on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    Did I read right…Kolb out with concussion like symptoms? The guy just just can’t catch a break!

  23. By Chris B on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    CM Punk,
    Why are you shouting at me?

    And, I’m not sure I get what you’re trying to tell me.

  24. By jpr on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    I find it rather comical when I read folks comments that just rip into Whisenhunt…..ANYBODY that has followed this franchise for years and years knows full well that this organization is one of the very least successful in all of professional sports….not just football, all sports. Whisenhunt was not a perfect coach and we all know that things ended badly for him here……Look at the QB situation post Warner, sorry but I don’t believe there is a coach alive that wins with John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, Brian Hoyer, etc., etc…..Whisenhunt was the coach that led this team to the Super bowl. Sure he had a great QB that is often a part of the equation…..great players make for a good team. Thanks for the work Whis!

  25. By ored on Aug 24, 2013 | Reply

    love em on top-hate em at the bottom,always the case.wiz was’nt the team or the management,he just played his part,he did good and did poorly depending on circumstances,it’s a team effort from the owner on down,now we have owners going a different direction and hopefully everybody buying in and on the same page will turn us around.

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