September 14, 2011
Redskins Park



Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt

On former Cardinal running back Tim Hightower:
“Tim did a number of great things for us. There were a number of big games that we had here where Tim had significant contributions. He’s a good football player. It was not an easy decision to trade him, but, to be fair to Tim and give him an opportunity to be a starter based on what we projected his role to be here, we thought it was a good move for both teams. You never want to allow one of your good players to leave your team, but I had so much respect for Tim and what he did for us and I care about Tim. I know that he wanted to be the guy and have an opportunity to do that. Part of it was giving him that opportunity.”

On what prevented him from being the starter in Arizona:
“As far as looking at the backs we had, Beanie [Wells] and after having just drafted Ryan Williams, where we felt he fit and his role on our football team was going to be different than he would have with another team. He certainly has verified that with coming to Washington and now becoming the starter. Once again, I am happy for him. It was just a situation that we felt at the time was beneficial to both parties – to Tim and the club.”

On former Redskin defensive end Vonnie Holliday:
“[He brings] good leadership and consistent steady play. I’m very happy to have him and he’s a good veteran, especially with the young defensive linemen that we have. I think he’s done a very good job in that role.”

On the Cardinals’ secondary struggles in Week 1:
“It was a lot of different things, but obviously we didn’t play our coverages very well. It was not a very good outing for our defense in the first game so we have a lot of work to do. Our guys are focusing on trying to correct that this week. We’re going against a good offense. I have great respect for Coach Mike Shanahan and what he does offensively. It’s going to be a real test for us.”

On quarterback Kevin Kolb’s debut last week:
“It was overshadowed a little bit by all of the attention that [Carolina quarterback] Cam Newton got for playing well in that game, but he did a very good job for us. He was very good on completion percentage, made accurate throws, got out of pressure, made some good plays and he ran our offense well. It was a very good outing for Kevin and it’s unfortunate that he didn’t get more acclaim for what he did if you look at his statistics, his rating and all the things that go with that. It was quite a performance.”

On offenses having success passing in week one in the NFL:
“I know that we certainly contributed to that. Ours was because of self-inflicted wounds. We’re trying to learn a new defensive scheme and we haven’t had a lot of time to do that. We’re playing with some young players in the back end in the secondary so there are always going to be some growing pains. We were fortunate to win that game. We know that we have to get better and I can imagine, although I haven’t had a chance to study it, I imagine that some of the teams are experiencing the same things that we were just not having the number of reps to prepare that you would have. There are probably 1,000 reps of OTAs and mini-camps that we didn’t get to have and those are lot of the times where you can work with the younger players and also get your veteran players with the scheme. I’m not making excuses. It is what it is. We’re a team that has a bunch of new faces and new coaches on defense and we’re trying to grow and improve.”

On rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and rookie nose tackle Chris Neild:
“They play hard. Ryan made a very good play on the batted ball that he returned for a touchdown. I think the one thing that is very representative of their team is they play hard, they finish and they have a high motor. They’re young players that look like they have been coached well and they stepped up and played well in that first game.”

On the Cardinals traveling from the West Coast to play a 1 p.m. ET game:
“We feel like we have a set way of how we travel and on how we prepare. As a west team coming east, which we have to do every few years, it’s not easy when you have the time change and you get into the city and try to get acclimated. We’re going to go with what we feel is the best plan for us which is worked for us in the past and we know it’s going to be a tough environment. It is a tough place to play. The Redskins are playing good football right now and they have a lot of confidence and hopefully we’ll come in there and it will work for us and we’ll play well…Our normal practice schedule is about the same time as you play, maybe within 30 minutes of an east coast start so it’s really not a factor with us. It’s just more about the wear-and-tear your body takes when you’re traveling. As I’m sure all of know, when you’re flying across the country and getting acclimated to the time change and getting enough rest, the difficult thing is starting out slow and that’s something that you can’t afford to do with the way Washington is playing.”


Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kevin Kolb


On facing the Redskins defense this week:
“I think the defensive unit is really good. The defensive unit is just as good as anybody. The linebackers are very talented being that I got a chance to go up against them for four years while I was in Philadelphia. Rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is a special player. I think the Redskins have one of the best defenses in the league. I think we have our work cut out for us this week.”

On how familiar the Redskins defense is compared to last year:
“[Defensive coordinator Jim] Haslett dials up enough things and it’s going to be a tough matchup. We’re trying to vent ourselves as an offense as well. We know it’s going to be some challenges but as a group we’re working hard.”

On how comfortable he’s been with Arizona:
“Every week is a little bit more progressive. This will be my seventh week in the offense, so, of course new things are added. Starting off on the right foot was huge confidence, not just for me but the whole team as well. We want to continue to build on that. The sky’s the limit for us.”

On working with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“It’s better in person than to see it on TV. He’s a better player, human being and teammate this year. I’m very lucky you can say, that I have a chance to play with Larry. I think the other receivers will say the same thing. He makes those guys better as well.”

On what he saw from the Redskins secondary Sunday against the Giants:
“With the front four, as well as the linebackers, the secondary makes you get rid of the football quickly. A lot of the defenses in the league forces that issue. The secondary is talented, especially when [safety LaRon] Landry is playing. We will try to take our shots, but at the same time, we will try to put together a solid drive and try to pick them apart as well.”

On if he’s expecting another 300-yard passing performance this week:
“I don’t ever go in a game thinking I’m going to throw for 300 yards. I just focus on executing the plays and getting the victory. Regardless of how much we run the ball or pass the ball we just want to go in and win. It’s going to be a hostile environment.”

On the preparation being different if safety LaRon Landry plays this week:
“We have personnel on Landry and Doughty so we know what to expect.”

On how much confidence you see in running back Beanie Wells since the departure of running back Tim Hightower:
“Beanie is a great player. His work ethic has picked up since Hightower left. His concentration has increased dramatically. I feel Beanie will have a great year. Besides that misfortune last game, if we can keep him healthy I know he will have a great year.”


(Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)