Conference Call: Ken Whisenhunt

Posted Oct 2, 2012

Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt – Conference Call – October 2, 2012
(On where they are in the practice schedule)
“I guess it’s kind of a combination Wednesday/Thursday for us here, and then tomorrow will be a combination Friday/Saturday, the day before the game.”
(On if he has ever had a Thursday game and if it is different from a Sunday game)
“Yeah, it is. It’s a little bit different. We did one in ’08 since I’ve been with the Cardinals, but I did a couple of them when I was in Pittsburgh. So, I at least have an idea of what to expect as far as schedule and what you’re trying to get done.”
(On how it feels to be 4-0)
“When you’re in season, you’re just so focused on each week, and it seems like it’s such a big challenge each week that you really don’t think about it that much. Obviously, we’re excited to be 4-0. We’ve had four up-and-down games. We’ve had a lot of trauma in them, so there’s been a lot of emotion extended, but just to be where we are, we’re certainly pleased about that.”
(On if he believes that momentum from the previous season can carry over into the next season)
“I think that’s a hard thing to say because, generally, your team that you had last year won’t stay intact – you’ll lose players, players will retire, you’re always getting new players in via the draft, so I don’t know. That was one of the messages that we said to the team this summer in camp was that just because we finished strong it doesn’t automatically carry over. You have to put the work in. You have to be prepared to start anew. But I think the one thing that we did draw out of it is that you can fight hard. We were able to win some close games last year and I think that gave us confidence going into some of the games that we’ve had earlier this year, that we can win those games and that’s a big thing, I think, for our team.”
(On if he sees similarities in how the Rams and Arizona are winning games)
“I don’t really pay a lot of attention to the statistics where the record… I think, we look at what we see on tape. They’re a well coached football team. They play hard. They’ve got a number of playmakers on both sides of the ball. We know very well that we’re going to have a stiff challenge coming in there playing the game Thursday night. I’m very impressed with what I see of this team on tape.”
(On if he notices any changes in the Rams on tape in comparison to previous seasons that indicate that this is a Fisher-coached team)
“Well, he’s a very good coach. He’s been in this business a long time. I played against him when he was at Tennessee. I see similarities as far as how his team plays. They’re well coached. They play hard and I see that translated on the field, so I have a lot of respect for that. But I’ve always had a lot of respect for the players in St. Louis, regardless of what the situation has been in my time here in Arizona and playing against that team. We’ve had some battles. They work hard and play hard and they’ve got some good players on that team.”
(On what he saw in CB Patrick Peterson coming out of college and how he’s developed since joining the team)
“Well, he’s a very mature young man. I think that’s one of the things that really stood out when we were interviewing him and doing all the pre-draft preparation things. He works very hard at getting better every day. Last year, he had a big year from a standpoint of making big returns. I know he had them against St. Louis. The thing that is most impressive about Patrick is that he’s very talented physically, but he really works at it mentally. He wants to be good. He works on technique. He works on fundamentals and he’s a very good young leader on our football team. He has a lot of the qualities that you want, not only just from when we talk about athletically, but also the intangible qualities. He’s continuing to work. He thinks that he’s got a lot of room for improvement. That’s the kind of mentality you want out of some of the best young players on your team.”
(On Peterson’s punt returning)
“I think that punt returns for touchdowns don’t just happen all the time. Patrick had a few last year and hopefully, he’ll have some going forward, but he’s working at it just like he did last year. I think teams maybe are punting away from him and are trying to make sure they account for him, much like you do when you play a team like the Bears and they have a guy like (WR) Devin Hester back there. I don’t know that there’s anything you can do other than keep working and hopefully, Patrick will get an opportunity to break one, one of these games.”
(On the NFC West)
“I think that’s one of the things we all talked about going into this season, was that every team had gotten better and that it was going to be a tough division. It sure looks like that’s the way it is after only four games.”
(On LB Daryl Washington)
“He’s gotten better each year as a young player coming in here and fitting into our scheme. It’s nice to see him making the plays and having the type of production that he’s having for us. That was one of the reasons we were excited to get him extended from a contract standpoint. He’s another one of those guys like Patrick - he always wants to get better. Athletically he’s talented, but he works hard at the mental side of it and he’s also a good, young leader. As far as trying to build a strong core with your young players, he’s one of those guys that’s a very important part of that.”
(On the Rams’ defense)
“They do a lot of different things. They play their scheme very well. They’ve got some good players that understand that scheme. They present some challenges from the different looks that you face. You’ve got a lot of things that you’re trying to prepare for in a short week, and they’ve got some talented players. They’ve got some good edge rushers, their secondary is playing at a high level and their inside backers, or their linebackers, are good players. They present a number of challenges for you.”
(On QB Kevin Kolb)
“He’s done a good job for us in these last four games. When he stepped in for (QB) John (Skelton) in the first game and took us down the field and scored the touchdown to essentially win the game for us, I certainly think that that did a lot for his confidence after having gone through the competition this past spring and even in training camp. He’s gotten better and better the last few games. He’s done a nice job for us.”
(On his offensive line allowing eight sacks to Miami last week)
“I think we definitely can’t allow that to happen. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen this week. We’re working to try to get better at that. We’ve got some new players, some young players on that line and they struggled in last week’s game. The challenge, in a short week, is to work on some of the technique things that were creating those issues and hopefully we’ll be better this week.”
(On DT Darnell Dockett)
“It’s a short week, so we’re trying to get him ready. I think a lot of it is going to be determined by how he does in practice today. He’s getting better, but we just won’t know until we see later in the week.”