Arizona Cardinals' Problems are in their Heads

Chris WhitakerContributor IJune 15, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Head coach Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals stands amongst his players against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Steelers won 27-23. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have already proven they have sufficient talent to win a Super Bowl. You don't win three playoff games and have a lead in the Super Bowl with less than a minute to play and not have the talent to win a Super Bowl. 

Saying Arizona's post-season run was a "fluke" would do nothing but illustrate one's complete ignorance.  

Many question the quality of Arizona's team because of its 9-7 regular-season record.  The 9-7 record did not prove Arizona was an average team. The Cardinals' postseason success rebuts that notion. 

What it did prove is that the Cards are a young team not used to success. After they knew they had pretty much clinched their division, a number of the Cards' players failed to play at the same level of intensity. In the NFL, every player has to give 100 percent every game to have a legitimate shot at winning.  

Last season, the Cards' biggest weakness was their lack of consistent mental toughness. Coach Ken Whisenhunt's biggest challenge next season will be to make sure his team is mentally ready to play hard each and every game, home and away. Whisenhunt needs to stress the importance of trying to win every game to gain home-field advantage in the playoffs and, perhaps more importantly than that, for pride. 

If Whisenhunt can keep the Cards' players' heads in each and every game, Arizona stands a very good chance of making a return trip to the Super Bowl.