The Arizona Cardinals had a Monday practice -- an oddity that happens because of the bye on Sunday. After four days off, they were all ready to go. The day was headlined with a players meeting with the coaches present, one that Darnell Dockett described as "one of the most emotional meetings I've ever been in."
Not all players were as enthusiastic about the meeting coming out of it. Larry Fitzgerald said as always is focused on results and change, not about the talk leading up to it. "You always hear about player meetings," said Fitz. "The key is going out there and playing well. You can talk all you want and say the things you want to say in the meeting but it comes down to execution. If that's what it takes to do a better job, so be it."
A general theme from all the quotes I heard was the Cardinals have to worry about themselves.
"Our biggest thing is not worrying about what Pittsburgh can do, not about our next opponent, just working one play at a time and everyone doing their job," explained Dockett.
Dockett also dismissed worrying about the division getting away as the San Francisco 49ers currently have a firm hold of the lead.
That isn't to say that they are completely ignoring the task at hand in preparing for the Steelers this coming Sunday. It is part of the progression. "We have to prepare ourselves, later in the week we will focus on the Steelers," said Beanie Wells.
One of the pluses that the team has with the bye is that "there aren't the time restraints," noted Ken Whisenhunt, so it makes the coaches' jobs easier in that sense.
The Cardinals now have an 11-game season left -- all in a row. The goal to get things turned around starts this week. Dockett is optimistic. "We're going to get this turned around," he proclaimed. That doesn't mean the playoffs necessarily, but as fans that is what we are looking for now -- something to believe in. Some improvement and playing more like the way many of us expected at the start of the season is just that thing.