If all things in the Cardinals organization remain the same (HC, FO personnel, ownership), I estimate that this franchise will not make the playoffs until the 2015 season. Trades must be made to replace aging and injured players, drafts harvested and players coached to establish a team with depth.
The group of players assembled in Arizona is obviously not ready for prime time. There is little depth and the veterans familiar with the system are long in the tooth. There is plenty of talent and youth but the Cards are short on experience, especially winning experience and that takes time.
This season will be a long practice session and 2012 looks to be the same. 2013 should be a break even season and 2014 might bring about a 9-7 record.
The NFC West teams will all grow stronger with time. Bradford will mature and get better for the Rams and they will build around him. Pete Carroll has the inside track on USC alums (Barkley?) and former Pac 10 players. The 49ers have shown they are already on the rise. It looks to me that it will take at least ten wins to take first place in the division each year from now.
The HC in Arizona seems to be a system coach and not a players coach.
A system coach finds and fits players to a system. This is a hit and miss proposition that takes time and patience. The Cardinals and their fans must wait for the correct pieces to become available and then get coached up. The winning combination is usually 4-5 years in development.
A players coach, on the other hand, has the ability to liberate the talents of the players under his charge immediately. He earns their trust and they want to play for him because he allows them to utilize their natural abilities with much more freedom. The play calling and schemes are suited to the players.
Hopefully the Arizona Cardinals will make steady progress with the leadership on hand. I look forward to that day when losing is no longer expected or accepted.