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Whisenhunt: No sense of relief that season is ending

The 2012 season has undoubtedly been the toughest in Ken Whisenhunt’s six-year tenure as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.

From a nine-game losing streak to a historic 58-0 loss to a never-ending carousel at quarterback, Whisenhunt’s resolve has certainly been tested over the first 15 games of the season. Yet even as the Cardinals are just days away from saying goodbye to a forgettable campaign, Whisenhunt doesn’t want it to end.

“Even though it’s tough, the competition drives you, wanting to get better and wanting to do things the right way in order to have success,” Whisenhunt said Monday. “If you aren’t competitive you shouldn’t be in here. And if [losing] doesn’t bother you, you shouldn’t be doing this.

“Will there be a sense of relief? No. The first thing I’m going to think about [when it ends] is that we don’t have a chance to keep going and get it better, get it fixed.”

With the team sitting at 5-10 — its worst record under Whisenhunt — speculation has grown in recent weeks as to whether he, his coaching staff and many notable players will even have a chance to get things fixed next season. But playing against a divisional rival who still has plenty on the line, Whisenhunt said there’s no chance his team would pack it in against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17.

“That’s really about desire and character, and having the right guys,” said Whisenhunt. “As tough of a stretch as we’ve been through here the last couple years, [packing it in] has never been an issue.

“You always hear that about players having their cars running that last game, but I don’t have that concern with our guys. Not with what they’ve shown on the field.”

Although Whisenhunt isn’t worried about his team’s mentality when they take the field Sunday in the Bay Area, the question still remains as to who will take the field at quarterback against the 49ers. As of Monday afternoon, Arizona’s head coach was still undecided as to who would get the nod against one of the top-ranked defenses in the NFL.