With so many variables pulling down the Arizona Cardinals in 2012 it simply isn’t fair to direct blame in one direction.
What started with so much promise (a 4-0 start) ended with a 5-11 thud including an unthinkable nine-game losing streak and head coach Ken Whisenhunt being shown the door four years after leading the Red Birds to their first Super Bowl.
“A lot can happen in a short time…everything happens for a reason,” Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell told Brad Cesmat in a recent in-studio interview on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “This [2013 roster] is the best team we’ve had since Kurt Warner retired in my opinion.”
Sans Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Washington’s disastrous off-season new head coach Bruce Arians has changed public perception by dumping underperforming players like Beanie Wells and signing low-risk, high-reward free agents. He, along with new general manager Steve Keim, have also been applauded for their collection of productive draft picks last month.
Campbell believes there will be more competition up and down the depth chart which leads to better play on game days and depth which is crucial during the grind of the 17-week NFC West schedule.
The biggest question addressed was under center where Carson Palmer brings stability to a position which has hindered the franchise since Warner’s retirement.
Campbell was asked if the horrible quarterback play pulled down rest of the team last season.
“It really did,” he explained to Cesmat. “It’s amazing how better a person plays when they have confidence [they] can win the game. When you know that if [we] get the ball back in our quarterback’s hands he can go down the field and score a touchdown…it makes you play better on defense. If you don’t have that belief it’s hard for you to go out there and make those plays you wouldn’t otherwise make.”
He said players didn’t quit but believes it was tough mentally to compete in the back half of last year when the Cards had nothing to play for but pride.
With a new season comes new opportunity and Campbell and the Cards looking forward to the fall, even playing in arguably the best division in football.