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On the Phone with Whisenhunt and Skelton

Posted by Sam Good on December 29, 2010 – 6:21 PM

Standing on the sidelines during the 49ers and Cardinals Week 12 “Monday Night Football” matchup, John Skelton didn’t like what he saw.

“I remember how bad it was for us offensively,” Arizona’s then-third-string quarterback said during his Wednesday conference call with the Bay Area media. “The Niners have a good defense and we struggled with some of the things they did and we couldn’t get much going.”

The 27-6 loss to the 49ers was a low-point of the season of the season, Skelton said, and after the game, coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t have to tell his team how “embarrassing” the defeat was. Whisenhunt said his players knew they needed to step their play up, and they couldn’t wait to get on the field the following Sunday.

“Playing as poorly as we did against San Francisco helped (turn around the season),” he said. “The sense of urgency came back a little bit.”

And along with the renewed sense of urgency, a lot has changed for the Arizona offense over the last five weeks. The Cardinals’ top two quarterbacks, Derek Anderson and Max Hall, have been sidelined with injuries, and their ground game has picked up to some degree as they ended their seven-game losing streak in Week 14.

Unlike the Cardinals’ offense, the 49ers’ defense had remained the same since that Nov. 29 game at University of Phoenix Stadium – until today. Interim coach Jim Tomsula announced Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis will not play in the season finale after undergoing a second surgery on his injured hand.

It’s a blow for the 49ers, but as Skelton put it, that’s good news for him and the Cardinals’ offense.

“He’s a great player… and I saw what he did the last time he played us,” the rookie signal caller said. “He’s a talented guy, so I guess that a big advantage for us.”

But even though the All-Pro will be sitting out on Sunday, Whisenhunt won’t change how his team plays offense. He already has his game plan in place, and teams don’t tend to change their defensive philosophy no matter who is injured, he said.

Like the 49ers, the Cardinals will not be playing in the postseason and their final game of the year will be Sunday at Candlestick Park. Also like the 49ers, the Cardinals want to finish their season with a win.

For Skelton and his teammates, there’s pride on the line, and that’s all the motivation they need.

“No one wants to walk off the field Sunday with a loss,” he said. “Regardless of what’s on the line, it’s all about winning that one game.”

To listen to Whisenhunt’s conference call, click here.

To listen to Skelton’s conference call, click here.

Posted in Game Preview | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “On the Phone with Whisenhunt and Skelton”

  1. By Ron Morgan on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    I am a huge niners fan. My first NFL game was in eighty one. As a little boy their uniforms and style of play captivated me. So looking forward to the glory days again. We need to tweak a few things, like CB,WR, S, QB and o-line. Then its on. Maybe an off. Cordinator , too!

  2. By Hermie on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    I hope you go out in a “blaze of style” in your last game as a 49er!! Good luck with your future team…Just remember if you ever come back to play S.F….we got your number!!

  3. By Hermie on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    Alex that is!!

  4. By David on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    Ok so Jed York is set to hire Balke , if he is that good why have we stunk the years hes been in house? Didn’t Jed York swear to make a smart move , get opinions from Eddie D , Parcell’s , and Kraft?

  5. By David on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    Didn’t Jed York swear for 3 years straight we’d make the playoffs? Am I the only fan that thinks hes a liar and has no idea how to fix or run this team?AM I the only fan thats tired of the team looking for (yes men) to service Jed under the desk?

  6. By David on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    Does anyone think after 3 more years of playing like this any real talented coach would want to be here?Heck any talented free agents for that matter , we stink , and the lights are dim for the future.

  7. By 9ersallday on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    david first off check yourself if you dont like what the team is doing then bounce. the team is not bad just needs the right coaching staff and they do not have that as of right now i do believe that the future is bright for the 9ers. I love when fans just bash and bash the team they so call love. I love the 49ers and i stick with them whether they win or loose not to say i dont get frustrated that we loose cuz i do. but i stillcheer them on. So for you fans who are frustrated and tired of loosing i feel ya but the boys need us behind them not up here bashing them.

  8. By Hermie on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    It does sound like Balke on one of the sites I was on this is what they had to say at the end…we will see

    Nevertheless, there are positives in York hiring Baalke. The first being that York will supposedly take a step back and simply “sign checks.” Also, if Baalke fails, it won’t be because he didn’t work at it. He’s a grinder. Something former general manager Scot McCloughan was not in his final year or so with the team. The question is will hard work alone be enough to overcome inexperience?

    Sounds scary to me!! What first tier head coach will come???

  9. By Hermie on Dec 30, 2010 | Reply

    OK….Baalke a lock is what I am reading from quotes from Lombardi (who interviewed for the job). Let us hope/pray we can get a HC with credentials…Jed don’t run the team like a 29 year old kid and you and Baalke get one of the coaches out there or one of these that are let go that have a pedigree!!

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