NFL betting handicappers will now evaluate if Arizona can make the playoffs for the third consecutive NFL gambling season with Matt Leinart at the controls.
There may be skepticism with gamblers, fans, and some in the media but do not count Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt among the doubters. Whisenhunt has quickly established himself as the most successful Cardinals coach since Don Coryell of the 1970’s Cardiac Cardinals when the franchise was located in St. Louis.
There are many pro football fans and handicappers who never thought they would live to see the day that the Cardinals would be considered a regular and consistent NFL playoff contender, let alone a Super Bowl team as they were in 2008.
Arizona is something of a longshot with the NFL preseason odds to make the post season but Whisenhunt remains confident and eager for the 2010 season and the challenge of winning without Warner.
“I think every season in this league is an enormous test of your ability,” said the coach. “You could have everybody back, be really excited about your season and then have a couple of injuries and suddenly you’re tested. That’s part of being a coach, but I enjoy trying to meet those challenges.”
Far from being a “rah-rah” type motivator, Whisenhunt is more of a cerebral figure that analyzes any situation with astute expertise. It is that approach that has many handicappers thinking that Arizona could be a bargain value on the board with the football odds.
“Maybe it’s the engineer side of me,” said Whisenhunt, a graduate of Georgia Tech. “I tend to think about things from all different angles; try to analyze them until I find the best solution.”
Superstar wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald says that Whisenhunt commands respect from the team because of his humility and approach.
“He’s not a jerk,” said Fitzgerald. “There’s a lot of different ways guys can handle being a coach. He listens and he respects you as a man so you have no choice but to do the same thing for him.”
Whisenhunt does not take the credit for Arizona’s recent NFL betting success as he is generous in spreading it with the entire organization.
“When you have success, everybody shares in it,” said the most successful Cardinals coach in a generation.