The Arizona Cardinals have a culture problem?
Culture is a funny thing with regards to sports.
Like chemistry, a winning team tends to have it good while
a losing team tends to struggle.
One of the greatest clichés in all of sports, part of the
Cardinals’ resurgence was attributed to the change in
culture brought by Ken Whisenhunt.
Just more than one full season removed from a playoff
game, are the Cardinals back to the Dave McGinnis-era of
one heartbeat, three wins?
Those teams didn’t really expect success, and that
attitude was reflected in the team’s many poor
Following the latest rough game by the 2011 Cardinals,
Kevin Kolb pointed to an issue with work ethic and desire,
something Todd Heap may have confirmed.
“I think it’s a different culture and it’s something that
we need to change,” Heap told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns
and Gambo earlier in the week, discussing the difference
between Baltimore, where Heap was, and Arizona, where he
is. “There are certain teams and certain organizations
where – and it’s not an organization – but…where you know
that everybody on that team expects what’s going to happen
“And when it doesn’t happen it’s like the worst thing in
the world. I think we need to get to that point where we
expect – where everybody in that locker room – expects
what’s going to happen on Sunday.”
Fans may be back to expecting the worst, but the players
hoped thought the franchise was
Then again, the quote can be taken any number of different
Is the tight end giving us canned athlete response, saying
culture needs to change if his team is struggling? You
know, the standard “I left a good team and joined a bad
one, the culture must be to blame” thing?
Or, perhaps, could there actually something rotten in the
state of Denmark? Is it possible that the Arizona
Cardinals, thought to be long past their days as the place
where careers go to die, have regressed back to being the
“Same Old Cardinals?”
If so, it sure didn’t take long.
“We fought the same battles when I was in Arizona,” Kurt
Warner told Burns and Gambo, noting that it happens
wherever a player goes. “You have to find ways to be able
to do it.”
Warner and the Cardinals found ways before, but since he
retired the Cardinals are struggling in that department,
meaning either the players aren’t terribly good or the
coaching staff is struggling to do its job.
Does a team need to have a positive culture in order to
win games or does winning beget the right attitude? The
Cardinals are going to find out, one way or another.