After winning nine out of 10 games at the end of 2011 and start, the Arizona Cardinals have now — amazingly — found a way to lose seven in a row. As a result, the Cards are now throwing a rookie quarterback into the fire as Ken Whisenhunt and the staff try to salvage something, and maybe even save their own jobs.
Ken Whisenhunt joined Doug and Wolf on KTAR in Phoenix to discuss the loss of center Lyle Sendlein, rookie Ryan Lindley’s first start at quarterback, his job situation and the sense of urgency the locker room has to have.
On Lyle Sendlein going down for the season with a knee injury:
“It’s extremely disappointing just because of what Lyle’s done for us. I think like 80 or 81 straight starts for us. But we found out this afternoon, after getting an MRI, that he is gonna require surgery on his knee and he’s gonna be done for the season. I feel so badly for Lyle because he’s such a hard worker, such a good man and a good player for us. But what happens in this business.”
On Ryan Lindley’s first career start against the Rams Sunday:
“I was impressed in the first half. We went on a 91-yard scoring drive, which I can’t remember the last time we’ve done that to start the game. Very efficient — three scoring drives in the first half, two touchdowns and a field goal. He ran the two-minute, moved in the pocket. I know he had the pick-six in the first half, but I felt like he did a really good job in the first half with everything that he was doing. And we were moving the ball, offensively, efficiently. And then in the second half, he still did some good things, but he made two huge mistakes on those throws. And that’s what’s so difficult because you’re so excited about a lot of things that he did, but when you turn the ball over like that, they’re hard to overcome. And you gotta make sure that he understands the significance of that when he’s got the ball in his hands all those times.”
On if he believes Lindley gives them their best chance to win short-term, as well as long-term:
“That’s what our focus is, Doug. We’re trying to win now and we’re doing everything we can to win games. And when you talk about Ryan and where he is, you’re talking about what you’ve seen of him in the limited amount of times that we’ve seen him play — what he’s done in practice, how he handled himself in preseason, how he handled himself the week before in the game against Atlanta. There’s a lot of things that go into that. And like I said, you have to evaluate how you’re moving the ball offensively. One of the things we’ve struggled doing this year is having some consistency on offense, and that was one of the things that were evident in the first half, that we were able to move the ball, and we did do some good things. So that’s all part of this process and putting players in there that you think are gonna give you the chance to win a game.”
On how he deals with talk that his job’s in jeopardy:
“Everyone’s aware of that. You’d be living in a closet if you didn’t know that that’s part of this business. The coaches have been in it, I’ve been in it, players have been in it. So you’re aware of it. It’s not something that you have to talk about.”
On the sense of urgency he believes his team has to possess right now:
“With the number of losses that we’ve had, there’s gotta be a sense of urgency. We’ve gotta get something done, and in the halftime of this game against St. Louis, I felt like we were on track. We did a lot of good things. And then we made mistakes in the second half that hurt us. And that’s where you gotta learn from them. You gotta say, ‘Look, guys, this is what we did and this is what we can do going forward. We gotta eliminate these mistakes and get better.’”