Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Crashing Cardinals sticking with head coach

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said a decision on whether Ken Whisenhunt remains as coach will be made after the season.

Bidwill called the team's 58-0 loss at Seattle on Sunday "unacceptable" and said he has been evaluating the situation on a week-to-week basis as the losing streak has grown to nine games.

"I think not making a rush decision is the right way to go," Bidwill said Monday in his first comments on the matter.

He said he and fans have been "living and dying with each one of these losses. It's extremely hard to watch."

"We know we can do better," Bidwill said. "I know that there is a lot of emotion around what happened (Sunday) but I don't intend to make any decisions based on emotion."

Bidwill said "there is plenty of responsibility to spread around" in the losing streak.

"Obviously, injuries have been a factor but I think even with that we expected a much different season than what we've got going on right now," he said.

Bidwill, whose father Bill Bidwill owns the team, runs the franchise. He said finances would not figure in the eventual decision.

"Winning football games and staying focused on what's best for winning football games is what we're going to stay focused on," he said.

Whisenhunt is due about $5.5 million in the final year of his contract next year.

The evaluation of the entire organization will be more thorough than usual, Bidwill said, adding that's why it's important to have "a complete set of facts."

Earlier Monday, Whisenhunt said he knows only one way to respond in the face of increasing speculation his sixth season in Arizona may be his last.

"I was a college walk-on, a 12th-round draft pick in the NFL," he said, "so I've always been in situations where you had to fight."

With three games to play, beginning at home Sunday against Detroit, Whisenhunt said he would "stick with" what has been successful in the past.

Whether the players are with him remains to be seen.

In the locker-room before the Monday team meeting, defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said he would keep playing hard for defensive co-ordinator Ray Horton and fellow defensive linemen. But for Whisenhunt? Dockett said, "No comment."

Perhaps it's not a surprising answer, since Whisenhunt fined Dockett somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 for his behaviour at the end of the previous week's game against the New York Jets.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 11, 2012 C6

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