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Interpreting Ken Whisenhunt's Interview Comments

In yesterday's Bird Droppings, it was mentioned how Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt was on the air on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon. You may have heard the interview and read some of the quotes, but in case you had not, I want to give you my take on what he said. Naturally, there is a lot of coach speak and words meant to reveal as little as possible, but we should be able to get at least some things from what he said.

Hit the jump for more...

Quote 1:

"I feel very good about where we are with our preparation. I feel like the plan that we have as far as being aggressive as pursuing some of the areas of need, most importantly that quarterback position; I feel good about that plan."

Translation: The team has put in a lot of work and have a plan. The plan is to go out and get guys the team has targeted and not wait around. Oh yeah, one of the moves that will happen quickly will be the quarterback.

Quote 2, on getting free agents:

I think that we present a good opportunity for free agents that are looking at our team. We have a lot of talented young players. We're in a division that we can be competitive and win if we improve in a couple of areas. Especially if we talk about the quarterback position, we have some talented wide receivers. Obviously we're willing to throw the football and put the quarterback in the position where he can make some plays. So I think there are a lot of things that are enticing about our football team and hopefully that will aid us in getting some of those holes filled...

Translation: The team has some talent and plays in a bad division that can be won with just a couple of tweaks. The team has Larry Fitzgerald and everyone saw that they are willing to chuck the ball in the air even with a bad quarterback -- imagine how that would be for a guy who is at least decent. So if there are players that want to make the playoffs, here is one of the easiest places to get a team turned around.

Quote 3, on being active in free agency and trades:

I believe we will. I think that we're going to pick our spots. I think the teams I have been with where we have had success -- Super Bowl teams -- are ones that basically build it through draft and then you add a couple of critical free agents that perform well for you. We've brought in a couple of guys that have done good things for us. But we're not going to go overboard. We're not going to go sign a tremendous amount of free agents because the way you build a consistent football team is to draft young players and develop them and have them continuing to learn and improve from the core group of players that you already have on your team. I think it's always good when you can get a couple of free agents that you know are going to have an impact on you team.

Translation: Expect more of the same. The team will bring in a couple of guys that aren't big names but will be contributors. don't expect any big 'splash."

Quote 4: The one you have heard, in response to the lockout and lost time affecting the decision on which way to go at quarterback:

If you have a chance to get a young quarterback that you think could develop into a great player for you for a decade, as opposed to a veteran player that you think might come in and help you right now, you have to go with what your evaluation is and with the one you have rated higher.

Translation: The time lost will be a factor, but the Cardinals are going to stick to their ratings and go down the list of availability. He gave away no information here. He is likely referring to perhaps Kevin Kolb as that young guy. But he isn't saying who the team rates highest.

Quote 5, on John Skelton:

I still feel very good about John Skelton as a young player and I think he will be a much better player. And we might be able to operate efficiently with John Skelton in his second year, but we're still going to look to get somebody in here that can address the position of quarterback that we feel like will help us get back to winning the division.

Translation: Derek Anderson is out of the picture. Skelton will be better, but if he is starting the team will not win the division -- hence the use of the word "efficient" and not "win division." They don't want him to start because they want to win the division (thus using that phrase when talking about a new quarterback), so unless all other plans fail, he won't be the guy.

Quote 6, on the defense and Ray Horton:

When we did make changes in our defense we tried to keep the terminology that our players were used to consistent. So that makes it a little easier. The schemes may be a little different, but how we call them and how we do some of our techniques will be the same, which will give you a chance to at least have a little knowledge going in, which will make the learning process a little bit faster.

I'm intrigued to see how our guys take to this defense. Schematically, it's not going to be that much different. We're going to do a couple of things -- obviously, we have to do a couple of things -- to make our defense play better. And one of the things I'm really excited about on defense is that we have some young players that are good players that I think are going to have the chance to step up. Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington, Dan Williams, Greg Toler. You can go through the list and add a couple of others. And that gets exciting.

Translation: He really has no idea how it will turn out, but they have tried to make the transition as easy as possible. The young guys will have opportunities to make plays. Greg Toler is most certainly no just being pushed to the side. The lack of mentioning Patrick Peterson I think is done on purpose, meaning we can expect he is brought in gradually.

Quote 7, on if the quarterback changes if the lockout goes into August and football time is lost or changed:

Let's just say for example that your number one ranked player you have the opportunity to get him and you feel like he is going to be a player that can help that position for a long time to come, you've got to take that shot. It's hard to find guys that play that position in this league. There are a lot of teams looking for quarterbacks. As easy as it is to say as it goes later that you might be looking more to a veteran guy, I don't necessarily know that that's what you can do. I really think you stick with what your plan is because when you're talking about that position, you are looking to the future and hopefully making it a competitive position with a player that can lead you, whether that player may be already on your team. 

Translation: This is where I agree with most guys saying that the team has Kolb ranked highest. He threw the last bit about how maybe the player is on the team as a way to add a little possibility that it is John Skelton, rather than Kolb.