While speculation continues to swirl about Dennis Green's job status, he's not
likely to be fired this season, even though the Cardinals are 1-7 at the midway
Green reported to work Monday morning and held his usual morning press
conference. If the Bidwill family was going to fire him, it likely would have
been this week. The Cardinals have a bye this week, and the new coach would have
had two weeks to prepare for the next game, November 5 against Dallas.
The Cardinals have lost seven straight, dropping Green's record as Cardinals
coach to 12-28. This is the Cardinals' worst record after eight games since
1997, when they also went 1-7.
Most players say the recent speculation about Green's job hasn't affected them,
but strong safety Adrian Wilson disputed that.
"Of course it does," he said. "He's our coach. Why wouldn't it? It's just one of
those things that you have to play through. It's not our decision."
The Bidwills aren't saying much. Michael Bidwill, a team vice president, said
last week that he's disappointed in the record and he's asked Green and Rod
Graves, who is in charge of the football operations, how the team got this bad.
The club is unlikely to fire Green for a few reasons. First, it would have to
pay him about $3.75 million for the final 1 1/2 years of his four-year contract.
Second, going with an interim coach rarely works.
There is no heir apparent to Green on staff, although defensive coordinator
Clancy Pendergast is highly regarded around the league.
More likely, owner Bill Bidwill will let, or make, Green coach the rest of the
season and make a change this off-season.
"As long as Coach Green is here, we are going to play hard," said linebacker
Calvin Pace. "No one is going to quit."
--In their past two road games, the Cardinals have fallen behind 14-0 and 21-0.
They have been outscored 38-10 in the first half and gained a total of 442
"We just can't get behind, spot teams and then try to catch them at the end,"
said receiver Anquan Boldin.
Boldin said the team is underperforming. "Guys just have to make up their mind
and come out and play," he said. "I mean, it ain't hard."
--QB Matt Leinart has played poorly in the past two games. He was sacked four
times against the Packers but he had time to throw on at least two of those
"A lot of times they were giving me all day to throw back there," he said of his
offensive linemen. "We just have to get better as a whole on offense."
Losing seven straight games is wearing on everyone connected with the
"This is my 14th year doing this," free safety Robert Griffith said, referring
to the length of his NFL career. "You think I want to go 1-7? Heck no. It's just
frustrating for everybody."
Strong safety Adrian Wilson questioned how badly some of his teammates want to
fight to get out of the hole they are in.
"I think there is (enough fight) in a few players," he said. "I think a few
players are just here. That's the nature of the game. That's just the nature of
how teams are."
--WR Larry Fitzgerald, who has missed three games because of a hamstring pull,
is expected to play against Dallas after the bye week. With Fitzgerald out,
teams have been able to devote more attention to receiver Anquan Boldin.
--G Milford Brown is expected to return to the starting lineup against Dallas
after missing three games with an ankle injury. Brown will replace Chris
Liwienski and rookie Deuce Lutui will remain in the starting lineup.
--OT Reggie Wells likely will remain as the starting right tackle for the
remainder of the year. He played there last Sunday against the Packers,
replacing Oliver Ross.
--SS Adrian Wilson didn't have much impact in the Packers game. He's at his best
when the Cardinals are using their blitz packages. But the Packers ran the ball
so well that the Cardinals didn't get a chance use the blitz much.
--CB Antrel Rolle had one of his worst games of the season. He was called for
pass interference twice, and it's clear teams aren't afraid to test him.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. PACKERS
PASSING OFFENSE: D -- Quarterback Matt Leinart struggled for a second straight
game, completing fewer than half of his passes. And he was going against the
Packers, who had given up more passing yards than any other team.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- The run game was actually effective at times. The problem
was the Cardinals fell behind 21-0 and had to abandon it.
PASS DEFENSE: D -- The Packers ran the ball so well that they didn't have to
pass much. But Brett Favre wasn't sacked and he didn't throw an interception
RUSH DEFENSE: F -- The Packers physically whipped the Cardinals front seven.
They pushed the defensive line off the ball, and their runners had no problem
getting into the secondary. Both Ahman Green and Vernand Morency gained more
than 100 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The punt coverage was better, but not great. The blocking on
the kickoff team is atrocious, and the return teams again contributed nothing.
COACHING: F -- This team was flat for the second straight week. The defense was
manhandled, and it was hard to tell just what the offensive game plan was.