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Cardinals fire Ken Whisenhunt, GM Graves after 5-11 season

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

In his first three seasons as the Cardinals' coach, Ken Whisenhunt's teams had a combined record of 27-21 and they made the playoffs twice. But after Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season, Whisenhunt's squads have slumped to 5-11, 8-8 and 5-11 again.

Not surprisingly, the Cardinals fired Whisenhunt on Monday, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported. General manager Rod Graves also was terminated.

Whisenhunt had tied much of his fate to the acquisition of free-agent quarterback Kevin Kolb, and it's not difficult to see how that was a disastrous decision. Since signing Kolb, Whisenhunt has been forced to play Kolb, John Skelton, Max Hall, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer at quarterback. Really, none of them were any better than semi-mediocre.

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The team's defense was solid this year, but the Cardinals had no chance in the NFC West this season with an offense that finished last in the league.

About three weeks ago, team president Michael Bidwill basically said Whisenhunt would last the season. But he didn't make any promises beyond that.

"Obviously, it's very disappointing the way it has gone," Bidwill said, via the team website. "It is unacceptable. It's one of those things, people inside this building, outside this building, our fans, we are living and dying with each of these losses and it's extremely hard to watch. I know we can do better.

"… I don't intend to make any decision based on emotion. I have been evaluating things all along and expect to continue to do that and want to have a complete set of facts as I evaluate what went wrong, what went right. And, as things move forward, I want to make sure we do what is in the best interest of the team and that means getting ready for each game, week in and week out."

The Cardinals lost 11 of their final 12 games of the season.

One possible candidate to replace him, La Canfora reported, is current Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Assistant GM Steve Keim could be promoted to fill Graves' old job. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley also could be a candidate to fill Whisenhunt's spot.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

 
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