Matt Leinart's two impressive performances to begin his career as the Cardinals'
franchise quarterback weren't enough to save offensive coordinator Keith Rowen
from the heavy hand of coach Dennis Green the day after Arizona blew a 20-0
halftime lead against Chicago.
Green fired Rowen and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Mike Kruczek.
"I just don't think we've been scoring enough points," said Green. "Every week
I've been saying that. We have not been as efficient. We're 23rd in the NFL in
total offense and we're probably worse than that in scoring offense. Again, it
doesn't all fall on one guy, but there is a job that has to be done and I'm
going to give another guy a chance to do that job."
Rowen will remain with the team, although his specific role has not been
Kruczek has been with the Cardinals since 2004 after 19 years at the University
of Central Florida. He has two Super Bowl rings from his days with the
Pittsburgh Steelers. Green said Kruczek will call plays from the field.
"Mike Kruczek has been here from the onset, and I think his on the field and
also his close working relationship with Matt Leinart will give us a better
chance," Green said. "At certain times you have to feel like you have to do
something different. Something that we hope will be better for us. I think Mike
is a very demanding, taskmaster type of guy and he is "old school" all the way.
I think that is what we need right now."
--The Cardinals played one of their finest defensive games in years Monday
against the Bears, but breakdowns on offense and special teams proved costly.
That's nothing new for the Cardinals, who have struggled in those areas for
The Cardinals have started quickly in both of Matt Leinart's starts, getting off
to 14-0 leads in the first quarter. But the offense has faded in both games.
The defense yielded only 168 yards against the Bears and collected six
turnovers, including four interceptions.
The Cardinals squandered a 23-3 lead in the second half. The impact of this
loss, their fifth straight, could be felt for some time.
"You look at how we played from a defensive standpoint," defensive end Bertrand
Berry said. "Did we play well enough to win? Yeah. Did we win? No. But I mean,
wow. I'm speechless. I have no idea what to say to you guys.
"This is a first. I hoped I would play long enough to see just about everything.
And I've seen just about everything at this point."
--WR Larry Fitzgerald, who missed last week's game with a hamstring injury,
hopes to be able to play against Oakland. That seems unlikely, however. He
probably will miss at least another week.
--WR Anquan Boldin has stepped up in Larry Fitzgerald's absence. He caught 12
passes for 136 yards and a touchdown against the Bears.
--RB Edgerrin James gained 55 yards on 36 carries. According to Elias, no back
in NFL history has carried the ball that many times for that few yards.
--C Nick Leckey started in place of Alex Stepanovich on Sunday and seemed to
play better than Stepanovich did the first five weeks.
--RG Milford Brown might miss another week with a sprained ankle. Chris
Liwienski is starting in his place.