Cardinals Still Searching for Identity

The Cardinals have failed to develop a true identity this season and have struggled to a 3-8 record so far.

Sometimes it's not a matter of a team not having an identity, but a team not wanting to believe what it is. At 3-8, the Cardinals aren't enjoying looking in the mirror.

If the Cardinals know what's gone wrong in the last six weeks, they aren't saying.

Ask the players and mostly you get vague generalities, like how good practice habits are not translating to playing well on Sundays. After 11 games, however, everyone else has come to the conclusion that the Cardinals' talent might have been vastly overrated.

That's not a revolutionary opinion, given the team's 3-8 record and six-game losing streak.

On defense, the biggest problem appears to be motivation. While not an overly-talented unit, the Cardinals have enough proven players that they should be closer to respectable.

The unit is 31st in points allowed and 29th in total defense. The front seven is getting annihilated and the secondary is busting coverage.

Complicating matters is that no one can see a way out of the downward spiral. The best players are already playing, meaning changing personnel isn't the answer. Coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't going to make changes on his coach staff, not during the season.

There are leaders on the defensive side of the ball, but they haven't been able to motivate this group. That might be because the leaders aren't playing that well themselves.

End Darnell Dockett is struggling through a neck stinger. Strong safety Adrian Wilson has been a liability in coverage. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has just nine passes defensed, even though no one is shying away from throwing at him.

Outside linebacker Joey Porter is providing very limited pass rush.

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