49ers' fast start adds to Cards' urgency

Larry Fitzgerald (Getty)

The Cardinals are 3 1/2 games behind the 49ers, who are 5-1. So, yes, the Cardinals understand the need for a quick turnaround.

--The Cardinals are 3 1/2 games behind the 49ers, who are 5-1. So, yes, the Cardinals understand the need for a quick turnaround.

"The 49ers are separating themselves and we have to have a sense of urgency," defensive end Vonnie Holliday said. "It's not like maybe in years past in this division where everybody is right there together. We're chasing them, and we have to start now. We can't wait."

--QB Kevin Kolb has thrown one touchdown pass in the past three games. He's had five passes intercepted in that time.

--WR Larry Fitzgerald now leads the franchise in all three major receiving categories: receptions (640), yards (8,631) and touchdowns (67).

--The Cardinals know how hard it is to bring down Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger. He beat them in XLIII in the final minutes, partly because he was able to shirk off linemen intent on sacking him.

"We played a guy like that in the first game in Cam Newton," Whisenhunt said. "It's something that can get frustrating, especially if you get to him and don't bring him down. All we can do is make a point of wrapping him up, making sure you bring him down."

But Roethlisberger can escape from sacks better than most. Whisenhunt saw that first hand as the Steelers offensive coordinator in Roethlisberger's first three seasons in the NFL.

"Some of the things I saw him do in my time with him, as far as getting out of things and shrugging off tacklers and making plays, that's why he's been so successful,"

--Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt didn't always see eye-to-eye when they were together. Whisenhunt wanted Roethlisberger to work harder, and Roethlisberger bristled at Whisenhunt's tough love. "He kind of held those reins pretty tight on me," Roethlisberger said. "I don't blame him for it. He did what he thought was best for me at the time, and there was nothing wrong with the way he coached."

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