Arizona Cardinals Respond To Running Game Challenge

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 27: Running back Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals runs in for a touchdown in the second half of the game against the St. Louis Rams on November 27, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 23-20. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

Most of us by now are aware of the performance that Beanie Wells had on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. He had a career high and franchise record 228 yards rushing and also broke off the two longest runs of his career. What you might not have heard was how that performance is on the heels of a specific challenge by coach Ken Whisenhunt to be better at running the football. 

Whisenhunt's message was simply, "We have to do better," and the offensive line and backs responded. 

"Obviously we try to do it every week," center Lyle Sendlein said. "But when the head man stands up there and challenges us, we try to respond in the manner we did."

Beanie mentioned how this time they took it more personal. 

On the positives from the game thread, I first ran across the quotes and some readers were left to wonder why now.

I don't pretend to know anything about what happens with a football team and how they respond to what their coach says. However, I know that getting called out in front of the team is a strong motivator. In fact, it was the week of the Seahawks game that the coaches called out the defensive line and made a specific challenge for them to dominate. 

The result? Calais Campbell's 2.5 sacks, 10 tackles and more. Players take things personal when they are called out in front of their team for whatever reason. 

So I don't get worried about the comments or that it was so long before the challenge came. Obviously this time it had extra weight. 

Truth be told, the challenge was needed. As a team, the Cardinals had only rushed for 100 yards in a game twice this season. The offensive line is hoping that this can serve as a launching point to continue the success. 

The game on Sunday between the Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys will be a good test as Dallas has the number 10 rushing defense in the league. 

What are your thoughts on the topic? Does the whole situation seem weird? Are you concerned at all about why it took until Week 12?

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