TEMPE, Ariz. - No close call this time. The Arizona Cardinals' fourth consecutive loss, a 34-10 drubbing by previously winless Minnesota, was the team's worst performance of the season.
The Cardinals (1-4) are 6-15 since Kurt Warner retired, and with a bye week ahead, there is no shortage of work to be done. Coach Ken Whisenhunt, who thought he had changed the franchise's long-entrenched culture of losing, repeated the ``keep working'' mantra on Monday and vowed that a good team will emerge.
The coach was asked what he could say to fans to make them believe that.
``There's nothing that I can say that's going to make anybody feel better. We have to show it on the field,'' Whisenhunt said. ``Our guys are aware of that. It's easy to say that we're working at it, and we are. Our guys are working. But we're not making the plays on the field. We're leaving a lot of things out there that could help us win games. All we can do is continue to focus on what we know works.''
That kind of talk made more sense when Arizona's first three losses were by a combined eight points. There wasn't much evidence to back him up in Minnesota, though, where the Vikings led 28-0 in the first quarter.
The players had Monday off and weren't available to reporters, but after Sunday's game, quarterback Kevin Kolb said there were mistakes all around.
``Our head coach hit the nail on the head. We have to get more detail oriented,'' Kolb said. ``It starts with meetings, showing up to work on time, getting in early, getting your work done, and all the stuff a professional is supposed to do. Maybe it takes a game like this to figure that out.''
Asked on Monday if Kolb's comments meant there were players showing up late for meetings and things like that, Whisenhunt insisted that wasn't the case.
``They've been meeting after practice and before practice,'' Whisenhunt said. ``They've been doing a lot of extra work on their own, in addition to what we've been doing. I didn't hear it, but my guess is his message was we have to put even more in and get on the same page. It's good that your quarterback is saying that, because that's important.''
The coach said he would not tolerate it if players were showing up late for meetings, but said that has not happened.
Kolb, acquired from Philadelphia, did not hold back his disgust at what has happened so far.
``I think everybody needs to clear their minds, and come back to work and make a push,''. He said ``I know I'm not going to lay down, I know a lot of other guys in there that aren't ready to lie down.''
The team is limited by the new collective bargaining agreement on what it can do on a bye week. The Cardinals practice on Tuesday and have a short workout Wednesday, then take Thursday through Sunday off. Arizona's next game is Oct. 23 at home against Pittsburgh.