Ken Whisenhunt is scheduled to hold exit interviews with his players on Monday and Tuesday, and in many cases, the players aren't going to like what they hear from the head coach.
Some of them will be surprised with Whisenhunt's critique of their production and value.
"I'm sure there will be some of them that because that may have been part of our problem this year," Whisenhunt said, "guys thinking they were a little better than they actually were or they played a little better than they actually did."
Whisenhunt said he learned lessons this season, too. He made a mistake, he said, by becoming "emotionally attached" to players based on what they've done for him in the past.
"I think that builds up over time when you have success, and you start evaluating players based on what you remember them doing a year or two or three or four ago, and maybe not candidly assessing where they are right now," he said.
It's a fine line for coaches to walk, he said. "There are a number of players that have earned their pelts as they say. You have to candidly assess where you are as a team and what expectations you have for certain players," he said. "If they are not getting it done, you have to be willing to sever ties or sit them down. And that's not always easy."
Whisenhunt declined to name the players who fit in that category, but many of the team's stars had down seasons, including defensive end Darnell Dockett, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and strong safety Adrian Wilson.
Some of the team's young, promising players, took a step back, including running back Beanie Wells and defensive end Calais Campbell.