Michael Bidwill came out and put all to rest. While he didn't give the dreaded vote of confidence, he did say that he was not going to make an emotional decision. Ken Whisenhunt will remain the Cardinals head coach at least until the end of the season.
After the team fell 58-0 to the Seattle Seahawks, I called for Whiz to be fired on Monday. But my premise was not based on his ability as a coach. It was about the losses and the apparent quitting of his players.
My comments on Twitter Monday morning then drew the ire of one fan/reader who was not on Whiz' side. This prompted me to put it out for you all -- is Ken Whisenhunt a good coach or not?
I stand by the fact that he is a good coach that had some flaws and had injuries, but finally lost his players, necessitating a change in my opinion.
Let's look at it from both sides.
Whisenhunt, the good:
Let's start with the results. In what will have been six seasons, he had two losing records. He took the team to the Super Bowl and two straight division championships. Previous to Whiz, since moving to Arizona in 1988, the franchise had two non-losing seasons. That's good.
Let's take last year/this year. The team started 1-6, but finished 8-8, then began the season 4-0. That was 11 of 13 games that were wins. That is good coaching.
In fact, the turnaround is probably the finest bit of coaching you will see.
He was the guiding hand that resurrected Kurt Warner's career. Before Whisenhunt got here, Warner was a turnover machine that was counted as washed up and was even booed here in Arizona. The fans wanted Matt Leinart playing over Warner. After Whisenhunt came to town, he worked with Warner on his footwork and ball control, insisting improvement from a former MVP, and it worked. Warner reached elite status once again.
He drafted Patrick Peterson, Daryl Washington, Sam Acho, O'Brien Schofield, Andre Roberts, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Steve Breaston.
He changed a team that had a losing culture and turned things around to the point where fans expect the playoffs.
His steadiness and conviction in what his and his coaches' system kept things even and eventually led to last year's turnaround.
These are things that good coaches do. And if he gets fired, he will land another job soon...and his team will be better than the Cardinals.
Whisenhunt, the bad:
To start, while he led the team to the postseason, it was Kurt Warner that did it. Warner had success before without Whiz. Whiz never had success without Warner. Warner changed all the playcalls at the line of scrimmage and that is why they were so good.
He ran Matt Leinart out of town. He started Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley in three years since Warner.
He targeted Kevin Kolb to be the team's franchise QB, who has shown he gets hurt really well.
The team has had losing streaks of six, seven and nine games (and counting) the past three years.
He drafted disappointments Levi Brown and Beanie Wells.
He has not developed the offensive line.
He refuses to make visible changes in his philosophy to fit the players and their skillset.
When he had the opportunity to rehire Todd Haley, he chose to consider him for a position coach because he had already promoted Mike Miller to offensive coordinator, rather than move Miller back to position coach and bring back Haley.
He continues to keep Russ Grimm on his staff when he has not improved the offensive line.
He lost his players this last week after fining Darnell Dockett, a team leader, and demoting Adrian Wilson, another team leader.
He refuses to play rookies unless he is forced to.
Things that we can't really pin on Whiz
His team this year has been decimated by injuries, and Kolb in particular can't stay on the field.
He didn't want Derek Anderson. He wanted Marc Bulger, but the Rams held on to him too long and the team already had signed Anderson.
Kurt Warner retired a season earlier than the team was ready for him to do so.
When Todd Haley became available, the team was not looking for an offensive coordinator. They already had promoted one.
So...what are your thoughts on the matter? Is Whiz a good coach? I think so. You tell us with your comments.
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