Cards need better QB play, not Haley

Cards need better QB play, not Haley

Published Jan. 20, 2012 11:06 a.m. ET

There’s been a lot of angst, energy and discussion spent on Todd Haley’s potential return to the Cardinals.

cut to the chase: The Cardinals don’t need Haley to take their offense
to the next level. The issue with the Cardinals offense last season was
not play-calling. The issue was quarterback play.

If you think QB
play was partially a product of coaching, well, the Cardinals are in
agreement. They already fired QBs coach Chris Miller to resolve that
issue. You don’t fire a coach if you’re happy with his performance.

if you think the Cards' offensive struggles were the product of poor
play-calling, you weren’t watching the games last season. There were
plenty of plays to be made on the field last year by the quarterbacks.
They just missed them through indecision or inaccuracy.

coach Ken Whisenhunt’s stamp is all over the offensive play-calling
given his pedigree as a former offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh. It's
not like Arizona's offensive philosophy will shift dramatically if
Haley returns.

If you’re of the belief that Haley will gets
results because he’s a yeller, a motivator, a get-under-the-skin kind of
guy, you probably ascribe too much significance to that tired and
questionable motivational tactic. Whisenhunt believes in treating grown
men like grown men. That is as it should be.

Haley didn’t get
more results out of the Arizona offense because of his abrasive coaching
style. He got more results out of Arizona’s offense because Kurt Warner
was the quarterback.

We’re not saying Haley wouldn’t be
successful if he returned, but we’re not convinced that Mike Miller
won’t enjoy the same success when given a full offseason to work with
his offense.

We’re not saying the Cards should pass on Haley, but
he won’t and shouldn’t accept a lesser role than a coordinator-level
position. To install Haley in that capacity would absolutely undermine
Miller, even if Miller kept his title. Miller has done nothing to
deserve such treatment other than coach an inexperienced quarterback
(John Skelton) and one who didn’t know the system and terminology (Kevin
Kolb) before he was thrown into the fire.

Whisenhunt has always
emphasized good chemistry and relationships with his staff and players.
He believes in fairness. But he’s also had a pretty good read on his
personnel’s abilities -- a point driven home by the team’s 7-2 finish
after most analysts (this space included) had written the Cards off.
Whisenhunt likes Miller. Whisenhunt believes in Miller. That faith
warrants further exploration next season.