It was another disappointing loss, but we plan to turn things around when we play the 49ers on Thursday night.
In the NFL you never know from week to week how a team is going to play. Arizona didn't have a dazzling record coming into the game last Sunday, but with a quarterback as experienced as Kurt Warner, anything is possible.
What we noticed right off was that the Cardinals were playing fast. They had an up-tempo offense that was getting things done. That's what you want to see if it is your offense, but that's not good news if the offense that is moving down the field belongs to your opponent.
Their receivers were right on for most of the game. That was very difficult to defend. The Arizona running game was also effective. The Tommie Harris penalty was an early setback for us, but it's the kind of thing you move on from as quickly as possible.
Defensive adjustments were made throughout the game on the sideline. More extensive adjustments were discussed at halftime. No matter what we changed, though, the momentum of the game kept getting away from us.
Sometimes it just happens that way. You try to change things around, but you just can't stop what is going wrong no matter what you try. Watching that unfold was difficult and extremely frustrating.
We never want to disappoint the fans, and it was not a good thing at all to hear them booing as we went into the third quarter. At least when you are in the game, you are so concentrated on the upcoming play that you tune out all of that. For those of us on the sideline, however, it was very noticeable. I also saw some of the fans leaving around the middle of the third quarter. Again, not what you want when you are playing a home game.
I've been asked if the problems we're having are due to a lack of leadership on the team. My answer to that would be a definite no. A number of players on both sides of the ball have been stepping up into leadership roles.
There's a high level of energy and enthusiasm. Everybody is stepping up and trying to help each other the best way that we can.
As a team, we are disappointed but not discouraged. There are plenty of games left to play, and we plan to turn this around immediately. For that reason, it's a good thing that we are playing again this week. The short time to prepare means less time to sit around wondering what went wrong and feeling bad about it. Instead, we'll go out there and make good things happen.
Another question I was asked today was what's the difference in preparation between the regular week, with such a long time between games, and the shorter week. I guess the best comparison I can make is to say that it is like cramming for a test. You just do everything in a more concentrated way. Meetings are more intense, that's for sure.
Physically however, practices are light. It's important to conserve energy for the game. We do walk-throughs instead of full-out scrimmages. We study film and discuss things, but we aren't necessarily running full schemes.
I'm looking forward to going back to California, where I have many friends. Most of my family lives there, too. I've had a lot of ticket requests, and since we are limited in the number that we can get, I've disappointed a few people. But we'll have a little free time tomorrow, and I hope to catch up with some people then.
I don't read the sports section or tune in to sports radio very often, but I am aware of the frustration our fans are feeling right now. Be assured we're doing everything possible to turn this around. We want to win just as much as you want us to win. We hope to get things back on track Thursday night.
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Gilbert Rookie Diary: 17th Entry
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