"Tim has shown glimpses from the first seven games of being able to make plays for us," Whisenhunt said. "Yesterday obviously was exciting to see him make some of the runs he did and be productive like he was but that's one game. We have to see it over time to say ‘Tim has a arrived', as a lot of people want to say after one game."
Whisenhunt was very clear Monday that Hightower earned his chance to start.
"He's shown in game that he can pick up blitzes, do a good job running with the football, and he is a receiver out of the backfield. We wouldn't have put him in if we didn't feel he was going to have a chance to be successful and give us the best chance to win."
RB Edgerrin James
"I've seen players in the past like Jerome Bettis, when we made that transition in Pittsburgh. The way he handled it was very important to our team being successful and it was very important to Willie Parker's success.
"Edge has tremendous credentials. He's been an important part of this team and he still is. There are going be things that Edge does well, that he has done through out his career and we're going to need him and were going to use him in those opportunities. Were trying to make decisions to put our team in the best position to win. Not always are those decisions easy."
Even with controversy in the backfield halfway through the season, the Cardinals haven't lost focus.
"For us to win, for us to have an opportunity to win our division, for us to get into the playoffs, the thing that has to be the most important in our player's minds is the team. I see tremendous signs of that from our team," Whisenhunt said.
"Monday night is an opportunity for all of the country to see us play. Were excited to show a lot of people the kind of football team we think were developing here. The atmosphere will be electric. Our fans will be fantastic. It will be a great environment. To me it will be a lot like a playoff game with the attention, the excitement and the way our fans have been so supportive of us."