Cardinals leaders driving home importance of seizing 2021 opportunity

Dec 23, 2021, 5:46 PM

Linebacker Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on...

Linebacker Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 17-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals did some reflecting inward following their second loss in as many weeks.

Members of the Arizona Cardinals leadership gathered around Wednesday and got right down to it with some of their teammates.

The conversation centered around: How many of them can say they’ve been in a spot like the Cardinals are in right now, sitting at 10-4 with the playoffs in sight?

“The amount of guys who raised their hands, it was a very low number,” linebacker Chandler Jones said Thursday. “Some guys said, ‘I did in my first year, my second year but this is Year 10 and I haven’t been back since here.’

“We just try to nail into these guys’ brains that this roster’s not gonna be the same next year, we’re not gonna have the same locker room. We’re not gonna have the same team. We might not have the same position. In order for us to have this position, you have to capitalize while you have it. We’re just trying to nail that importance to the guys.”

It’s times like these where leaders must step up and show why they are in the position they are in. It’s on them to “get the team out of the so-called funk or long faces” Jones acknowledged.

At 10-4, the Cardinals’ playoff destiny is nearly a foregone conclusion, yet is not locked in like many would have expected given the team’s hot start to the year.

While other teams’ fates could thrust the Cardinals into the postseason, a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday would erase any and all doubt that lingers over head.

“We have the opportunity to play again, an opportunity to possibly get into the playoffs and all that type of stuff,” Cardinals safety Budda Baker said Thursday. “Of course we’re preaching 1-0 mentality and we haven’t been the last two weeks.

“This is another week for us to get back to that 1-0 mentality and we always understand what’s at stake.”

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