Things began to change when they hired Ken Whisenhunt. He brought a certain professionalism to the team, and obtained a commitment from ownership to spend more money to finally try to build a winner. The Cardinals hit an apex in popularity when they won three playoff games – and came that close to winning the Super Bowl under Kurt Warner’s leadership.
Well, Warner’s gone, but the good news is that there still seems to be a strong commitment to build a winning team. The Cardinals owners invested heavily in Larry Fitzgerald and Darnell Dockett last year, and drafted the most exciting player coming out of college, Patrick Peterson. They paid Calais Campbell the money he deserves. Adrian Wilson got a contract extension and is now a Cardinal for life. And there’s now talk of signing Daryl Washington to a new long-term deal.
Cardinal fans have responded accordingly. More than 14,000 fans showed up to see the team’s offense play the defense in practice last week.
The long-term future indeed looks bright for the Arizona Cardinals. As to this coming year, the Cardinals defense is definitely going to keep them in games (I don’t think you will see the blowouts that we saw last year in the first half of the season). If the offensive line can keep those big linemen away from the quarterback…if Beanie Wells and/or Ryan Williams can play healthy and strong…and if either John Skelton or Kevin Kolb can step up and really show their promise, this team could surprise some of the NFL pundits this year.