Phoenix, AZ- Peace out Rod Graves, Ken Whisenhunt and everyone else who unfortunately lost their job today. The Blackest Monday of recent history showed the door to both the general manager and coach 0f San Diego, Cleveland and yes, Arizona. Chicago, Kansas City, Buffalo and Philadelphia all canned their coaches, while Jacksonville and the New York Jets have both fired only their general managers…so far.
Arizona’s moves hardly came at a surprise, some hope had been held out for Whisenhunt but the massacre in Seattle probably sealed his fate a few weeks ago. Whisenhunt will be remembered more fondly than not in the valley, he was a good coach and he took the Cards to their only Superbowl. Finishing the season 1-11 is unacceptable though, and his exit is justified.
Rod Graves’ exit is more than justified. He oversaw the player-development staff that turned out one of the worst offensive line/quarterback combinations this league has ever seen. Arizona started four quarterbacks this season; it’s honestly a wonder that they won more games than the amount of QBs they put out there. Hopefully Arizona can bring in someone with a plan that can make the Cardinals competitive fast while building a strong foundation for years to come, because stability and leadership is what this franchise needs most.
Where do they go from here now? A company doesn’t just fire its CEO and Chairman without candidates in line to replace them, so what candidates does Arizona have? Foxsports.com reported earlier that Arizona’s current vice president of player personnel, Steve Keim, is an early frontrunner to replace Graves. Keim has been with the organization since 1999 and his highly respected, but he is also a candidate for the Brown’s GM vacancy as well.
It’s been rumored for the past month that defensive coordinator Ray Horton would be promoted to head coach if/when Whisenhunt got fired. Despite Horton never being a head coach before, several other teams around the league are said to be interest in his services. Arizona will at the very least deeply consider hiring Horton to run the team, although they will probably wait until they hire a GM to make that decision.
People always lose their jobs after disappointing years in any business, football is just magnified more than almost any other. It was sad to see Whiz get let go, but like an old truck that doesn’t work anymore, he had to be scrapped. Hopefully whoever fills his shoes can do better next season.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic