MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on October 9, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Cardinals 34-10. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Ken Whisenhunt was on Arizona Sports 620 with Doug and Wolf recently to discuss some of the issues and growing pains that this Arizona Cardinals team is going through right now. SportsRadioInterviews.com was able to transcribe this interview and after reading it, we can make a bit more sense of why some of the things we question are done.
After the jump, I'll give you some of Whiz's quotes from the interview and my thoughts about what he said.
During the course of the interview, Whiz talked about Kolb's play, the offensive line, and adjustments that need to be made during the bye week.
First, let's get to what is on everyone's minds: what does the coach think of the offensive line? Here is some of what he had to say:
"If you put any offensive line in that situation it is going to be difficult. You put them down that many scores having to throw the ball to catch up. If we are able to run the football and do some of our play action game that will certainly help the line and the protection of the quarterback."
I agree 100% with what he said here. When your team is down 28 points, there isn't much of a choice other than throwing the ball. When an offensive line is forced to pass protect against some of the premiere pass rushers in the league like Jared Allen and Brian Robison, they are going to get beat.
Whiz also mentioned that they were only rushing four and dropping usually around seven guys on every play. That forces the offense to send out more receivers, leaving the line in one-on-one situations. Sending out two receivers and a tight end against seven players in coverage on defense is not going to work. The only way any of this could have been avoided is if the Cardinals were not down so much from the start.
Still, when looking at the overall play of the offensive line, especially from the tackle position, there is obviously a lack of talent and cohesion. Levi Brown and Jeremy Bridges were getting beat all day long off of the edge and that is simply not acceptable. I am reminded of the Detroit Lions and the comeback they made against the Cowboys a couple of weeks ago. Their line is anything but solid, but they were able to give Matthew Stafford enough time in the pocket to complete some passes and eventually win the game.
"He did some good things in the game, but he also did some things that we need to continue to work on as far in the pocket and making some of the reads and sticking with them. When you are down three or four scores early and you are going against a team with the front Minnesota has and you know you have to throw the ball to catch up it is very difficult."
Whisenhunt also went on to talk about all of the drops, both on offense and on defense. Plays like that have to be made and if they're not, Kolb usually gets the blame when it is hardly deserved.
It's hard for me to say this, but I think Kolb needs to have more faith in his offensive line. He runs out of the pocket too soon as opposed to stepping up and staying in it. Also, Kevin needs to work on holding onto the ball when he is sacked. He has fumbled in every game so far this year. That is something that will surely be worked on in the bye.
Lastly, Whiz discussed some of the things they would be working on in the bye week heading into a game against the Steelers and some of the things the team can build on:
"Obviously areas of emphasis for us are going to be third downs and red zone. Those are two areas that we are going to work on tomorrow with the guys... The positive thing I saw there was our guys didn't quit. They continued to try to work at it. We gotta eliminate one of two guys making mistakes and let the player get out and make a big play on us."
Working on thirds downs and red zone plays on both sides of the ball will be pivotal for the team. Scoring touchdowns instead of field goals is something this team has struggled with so far in the season. Whisenhunt has stated that the team has been working very hard in practice and even doing extra work before and after the scheduled work. They just need to make it translate to game day.
This interview really cleared up a lot of the questions I had after watching that blowout loss. What about you Cardinals fans? What do you think about what coach said and do you agree with it? What do you think this team needs to do in order to improve?