The Arizona Cardinals offense has been subject to a lot of
scrutiny over the last few weeks because it has struggled
down the stretch of games.
However, it is the defense that seems to be garnering more
concern from the Cardinals coaching staff, and rightfully
so. Because if the defense does what it is supposed to,
the offense won’t be placed in situations where it needs a
touchdown late in games.
“I think you have to make sure that you change things up,”
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said when addressing the
defense, “but you have to execute what you change up. You
can’t just play zone or you can’t just pressure because
you don’t want to give up the big play.”
The big play has been a big problem for the Cardinals this
season; they are tied for second worst in the NFL as they
have given up 23 passing plays of over 20 yards already
“You see a lot of things from the defensive side of the
ball that are getting better. I would say that’s fairly
characteristic of installing a new scheme and getting guys
on the same page.”
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, time is running out on
this defense. They need to pick up Ray Horton’s system
soon before the playoffs fall out of reach.
Everyone on the team realizes how important a win this
Sunday is, and while no one would call it a “must win,”
the players stressed how bad they want the victory.
“We knew there [were] going to be challenges,” Cardinals
guard Daryn Colledge said, “but like any group of
professional men we want to win and that’s what’s most
important so right now that’s what we need to figure out
how to do.”
Coach Whisenhunt knows achieving victory against a team
that is just as, if not more desperate to win than the
Cardinals will not come easily, especially on the road.
“It’s going to be a tough game, they play hard, they’ve
got good football players,” Whisenhunt said.
“They haven’t been able to finish out a game much like us.
Obviously one of the two teams will be able to finish the
game this week. My hope is that it’s us.”