I can't help but read all the comments and articles I've come across today about the Arizona Cardinals and not think that so many people have not figured these Cardinals out. After 10 games, few have figured out who these Cards are, not even after five consecutive losses. Heck, I still don't know what they are other than not very good right now. I do know this, they are not the same old Cards.
The "same old Cards" churns up thoughts of the early days when the Cards had losing year after losing year. They had the one good year in 1998 and the went right back to an afterthought until Ken Whisenhunt took over the reins in 2007. The Cards haven't had a losing season in four years.
The "same old Cards" implies this team is full of misfits, has been's and never will be's. Ok, maybe this team has some never will be's, but the Cards hardly have an inexperienced, untested, unproven team.
The "same old Cards" implies this team has no talent. This team is full of talent. A lot of wasted talent in 2010 for sure.
The "old Cards" didn't know the south end zone from the north end zone. Most teams from 1989-2006 were full of rosters that were filled with potential but were also 90 percent full of players that never found a way to win in the NFL. The 2010 Cardinals are different.
Sure, they have a record of 3-7, which, by definition, is not very good. It is a record that does stir debate on just how good a team is. I get that. Clearly, not everyone does. One person does not make a team and one person does not a team fail in spite of. The team that wins together also loses together. Everyone has a hand in it. Don't want to blame the kicker? No? How about asking him to get the ball in the end zone for more touch backs. Don't want to blame, say, Larry Fitzgerald? How about asking him to grab balls he used to grab without fail, no matter how bad the passes were. Derek Anderson isn't the first guy to over throw Fitz in his time in a Cardinals uniform.
This is a team where just under half of the players on the roster were on the roster for the 2008 season when the Cards went to the Super Bowl and in 2009 when they defended their NFC West title. Make no mistake, this team has its issues, however those issues are not ones of talent with the exception of a couple of areas, namely quarterback and offensive line. Derek Anderson hasn't exactly blown us away, he only throws balls away 15 feet over receivers heads. He's not throwing those balls away either, which is the scary part. The offensive line can not block, run or pass.
This team has talent and plenty of it. They are missing confidence, focus, and drive, other intangibles an NFL player needs to be successful in this league. Of course the one place they are lacking the most talent is at quarterback in a quarterback driven league. and that's where I think the analysis starts and ends unfortunately. Thus, the reason why people are saying "same old Cards".
This team has a coach who can coach though. Sure, the play calling at times has been questionable, at best. Doesn't everyone have an off season though? I didn't see anyone questioning the play calling when we were winning? Yes, we've been spoiled over the past three seasons. After all those bad seasons, finally, we had a winner in town. I say we haven't been spoiled enough though. I will tell you, the NFL, as in most sports, is cyclical. All traditionally good teams have bad seasons. Go ask the Minnesota Vikings. Go ask the Dallas Cowboys. Ask them if they are the "same old Vikings, same old Cowboys" and see if it conjures memories of the bad seasons of past. One season has nothing to do with the next when it comes to stats and records, however it is with the players where those connections are made. Only a few players here now were around for at least one losing season in Arizona and you could argue they are among some of the best players on this roster (Fitzgerald since 2004, Adrian Wilson since 2001, and Gerald Hayes since 2003).
So please, be careful in making comparisons to past losing seasons. We the fans know the losing years, the players for the most part don't. Yes, these results do look a lot like 2006 and before, however, these are not the "same old Cards".