Here’s what Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said about his team to Bay Area reporters Wednesday morning on a conference call.
Q: How is your schedule this week impacted by the Monday night game?
WHISENHUNT: We just did a normal week Monday-Tuesday, so we’re going to have the extra day of practice today and then our normal routine Thursday. That’s the schedule that we’re going with since we played Sunday.
Q: How are you guys health-wise?
WHISENHUNT: We’re banged up. We’ve been fighting through a number of injuries over the last few weeks and all we can do is hope that the extra day will give some of our guys a chance to play on Monday night.
Q: Do you have any timetable on QB Kevin Kolb?
WHISENHUNT: No, I don’t. He’s getting a lot better but I don’t know for sure. I think he’s a fast healer and hopefully he’ll be here much sooner than later.
Q: Is Monday night out of the question for him?
WHISENHUNT: I don’t know for sure. I can’t say that it is, but it would take a lot of recovery in the next couple of days for that to happen.
Q: Your defense looks like it’s been leading this team – ranked seventh right now. What aspect of the defense has led that resurgence?
WHISENHUNT: I think it’s just consistency. Our players have played in this system for a little bit of time, so they understand adjustments, they understand how they’re supposed to fit the gaps most of the time. We’re not perfect. We make mistakes, but I think it’s just the overall concept of playing as a team is where we’ve gotten better, and trusting your partner to do his job.
Q: What kind of strides has Patrick Peterson made from last year?
WHISENHUNT: He did a nice job for us last year, but I think any time you’re a rookie, there are a lot of things that you have to learn, especially the defensive back position. He worked very hard in the offseason as far as his techniques and how he has to play certain guys, and what he can and cannot get away with. It’s still a work in progress, but he’s a very talented young man and has done a good job for us this year.
Q: Have you seen progress with your offensive line?
WHISENHUNT: We given up a lot [of sacks], that’s for sure. It’s hard when you give up that many sacks. We’re up and down. We play better for a little while and then we have some breakdowns. I feel like we’re improving slowly. It’s going to be very important that we play our best game yet as an offensive line this coming game, because we know how good the front-seven is for this 49ers defense. There’s no question – we’ve got young guys, new guys, we’ve had injuries and I think that’s hurt the continuity of our group, but they’ve been working hard to try to regain that. We did a little better job last week against a good front in Minnesota. We’ve got to try to eliminate these sacks, but when you’re playing against top-ranked defenses that have good pass rushers, it’s tough.
Q: How was right guard Adam Snyder fared for you?
WHISENHUNT: Adam has done a good job for us. He’s learning the offense and trying to integrate. He’s done a great job with that and we’re happy to have him on our team.
Q: Do you expect him to play Monday night?
WHISENHUNT: We haven’t practiced yet, so I’m hopeful that he’ll be back. We’ll see how he can work this week in practice.
Q: He played a lot of different roles for the 49ers. Do you see him as a guy who can move around to different spots or do you see him purely as a guard now?
WHISENHUNT: I certainly think he’s versatile enough to do that. That’s one of the reasons we had interest in signing, but we’ve tried to leave him at one spot and let him grow into that spot. With the injuries we’ve had, who knows? If that continues, he may have to play another spot. When we’ve been nicked up, we’ve talked about it. We needed a right guard and he’s filled that role for us and done a good job so we’ve been hesitant to try to move him.
Q: How much are you going to bring up last year’s game to your team – the fact that you were able to come back from adversity.
WHISENHUNT: I don’t think it’s a big factor in this game and where we are as a team this year. I think we’ve had a number of games since then that we’ve had to come back. We’ve had close games. I think this game is more about making sure we minimize our mistakes. That’s what’s hurt us the last couple of games. The reason we haven’t gotten the win is because of mistakes that we’ve made. We know they’re going to force you into the mistakes, and we just can’t do that.
Q: When you guys beat the 49ers last year, was that one of the best games of John Skelton’s career
WHISENHUNT: Aside from the fumble and the two interceptions, he played well. Like I was saying before, if we don’t turn the ball over it would have been a good game for us. John’s done a lot of good things for us, but he’s got to understand at that position how important it is not to make those mistakes, especially going against a team like this. You can’t do that. So our focus is trying to make sure that we don’t make those kind of mistakes in a game like this.