Following the Cardinals debacle in Seattle, something needs to be done. That something should be a complete rebuild on offense, at nearly every position. I think it might even be time for a change at both coach, and offensive coordinator. That is, unless you buy the “we just haven't had somebody step up since Warner left” excuse.
To say the Cardinals have been struggling at the quarterback position since Kurt Warner’s retirement is a gross understatement. To say that’s a viable excuse for their atrocious play on offense since then, is cheap, and a weak justification for the organizations patience with both Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Miller. It is also an absurd assumption that the only reason for their lack of success on offense is a result of poor quarterback play.
Even if it was, there has been more than a few good quarterbacks in recent drafts ripe for the taking, and they opted for John Skelton and Ryan Lindley. Even teams with established veteran quarterbacks, with recent success in their careers have placed more emphasis on the position in recent drafts. Unfortunately for the Cardinals though, their problems on offense run a lot deeper than just the quarterback position though.
Success on offense begins and ends with the offensive line, and unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last 6 or so months, you’ve probably heard something about how awful the Cardinals are at that position. To this point in the season Cardinals quarterbacks have been sacked a combined 51 times. That say’s nothing of the hurried throws, or hits, or times they have been chased out of the pocket. Even if they had a good quarterback, not all that sure it would make a huge difference with the amount of time or lack thereof he would have in the pocket. It’s not like this is a new problem for the Cardinals either. They have had little success keeping their quarterbacks afoot, or getting the running game going for quite some time now, and still have done little to nothing to address the issue.
With all the emphasis seemingly put in the passing game nowadays, the importance of a good running game often goes unnoticed; but if you’re watching a team that can’t run the ball, you will quickly learn its importance. Possibly a bi-product of one of the league’s worst offensive lines, the Cardinals haven’t had much if any success in the running game seemingly for ages. You could of course cite Beanie Wells 1,000 yard season last year as a sign of success, but his numbers are inflated, and he got about a quarter of his yards in one game against a Rams team that had already quit on its coach last season. As far as I’m concerned the only running back the Cardinals have drafted recently to have an even moderate impact on this offense positively, is LaRod Stephens-Howling. Beanie Wells is probably on his way out at the end of the season, and Ryan Williams hasn’t worked out even nearly as well as originally intended when they used a second round pick on him in last year’s draft, even before he got injured. Really hard to throw the ball if you can’t run it well, and even more difficult to seal victories when you have the lead; not that the Cardinals ever have one.
Now for the most important position in all of sports, quarterback. A position where the Cardinals are unrivaled in terms of how awful they are. Kevin Kolb hasn’t worked out, John Skelton’s been absolutely horrible, and Ryan Lindley hasn’t been much better. The Cardinals have passed up on some amazing talent in the draft at the position, and didn’t do enough to provide depth in free agency. Based on how mediocre (at best) Michael Floyd has played, would it have not made more sense to draft maybe Brandon Weeden? If they couldn’t get him, perhaps Russell Wilson in the second or maybe traded up for him in the third? Looking at the free agents available, would Donovan McNabb, Seneca Wallace, or maybe even Vince Young not be a better option than Skelton or Lindley? With one of the most unstable quarterback groups in the league, how could they justify only adding Lindley to the group this off-season?
This offense is nothing short of a disgrace, and somebody has to be held accountable. That somebody is Ken Whisenhunt. Speculation about his job security is rampant amongst pundits across the web, and television and rightfully so. Almost every offensive player he’s selected in the draft other than Andre Roberts, hasn’t worked out or at least not nearly as well as they should have. His team hasn’t thrown for a touchdown in four games, and hasn’t scored any in two. His team, plain and simple, has quit on him, and I think nothing makes that more clear than a 58-0 loss against a division rival for their ninth straight. Sorry Whisenhunt, but all things must pass, especially for success in the NFL.