Sep 10

Starting Anew

Starting Anew

Cards open against Panthers ready to forget last season

Coach Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals are anxious to start the 2011 season Sunday after struggling most of the 2010 season.

The Cardinals underwent significant change in the offseason, with more than a third of the 53-man roster new to the team in 2011.

That still leaves plenty of players behind that were around in 2010, a miserable season that no one wants to repeat when the new season begins Sunday in the opener against Carolina.

“We know what 5-and-11 felt like,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “Look at the game film last year and look at how much we didn’t play together, how many mistakes we made. That sucks. To have an opportunity to redeem yourself, a lot of games will be personal.”

The game against the Panthers features plenty of storylines, from the debut of No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton as Carolina’s quarterback (and the way the Cards will defend him), the debut of the Cards’ own new players like quarterback Kevin Kolb, to the 10thanniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Emotion will be plentiful.

More than anything, though, the Cardinals want to begin the season the right way. They can’t accomplish everything in one afternoon – the Cards won their season opener last season, and were 3-2 at one point before things fell apart – but they wouldn’t mind some tangible proof they have changed what ailed them.

“It was mentioned in training camp, because we wanted people to know what we went through last year,” running back Beanie Wells said. “We wanted to let (the new players) know we never want to go through it again. After a preseason game, it got erased. This is a new moment. We can’t take the past with us to the future.”

Dockett clings to the motivation. Others want to move past it. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said whatever works a player is fine with him.

“Last year was last year,” safety Adrian Wilson said. “Different circumstances, different team, everything is different. Different attitude. Last year we didn’t have a margin for error and that weighed heavily on a lot of defenders.”

via Starting Anew.