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Q&A with Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt

    <span>              <span style="">How much does your club's postseason experience last year help your team as opposed to the Saints who haven't been in the postseason in three years?</span>                

"I imagine there's quite a few players on that team who were there in '06, unlike last year, we had hardly anybody. I think this year it does help us because we have gone through this process. Playing the first week? I would have preferred to have a bye, if you asked me. I think having been in the playoffs last year certainly helps us, especially having to go on the road and play, because we did that last year. I do think it helps you get a little better prepared."

Can you talk about the play of Early Doucet on Sunday?

"He played really well. He's been playing very well. He's been improving as the year has gone on. It didn't really start out that great for him in camp this year when he got injured and missed a lot of time and was actually not active the first couple games. He had to work his way back on the field. It's always great when some of your young players, especially ones you drafted, like we did with Early in the third round start to perform like you envisioned. I think even more rewarding is how he's had to work to get to that point, the time that he's put in, plus being around guys like Larry (Fitzgerald) and Anquan (Boldin) and Steve (Breaston) have helped because now he has an understanding of how he has to prepare. We're obviously very excited to see him do it, especially at the level he did last week in a playoff game and we're excited about continuing to see him blossom."

What are the qualities Kurt Warner and Drew Brees share?

"They're both very intelligent quarterbacks and it's very hard to fool them. They see the field extremely well. They do a great job of getting the ball out, knowing where to go with it. Those are things these guys are probably as good as anybody I've ever seen in doing those things."

Can you talk about what Larry Fitzgerald has meant to your team?

"Larry's a special player. Obviously he was drafted before I got here. But I was in Pittsburgh and obviously watched him play at the University of Pittsburgh. I knew what kind of player he was. When you have a player that's physically gifted like Larry is, it's always good for your team when he works like he does. The way he studies, the way he prepares. The way he works on the practice field and then when you see him have success the way he does on the practice field, it sets a precedent for your team, like I mentioned with Early Doucet, the younger players understand how they have to work because they're seeing one of the best players in the league, the way he works, the standard he sets. It's meant a great deal to our football club just from that aspect, not to mention what he does on the field, especially we all know what he did last year in the playoffs. He had a good game last week against Green Bay, making a huge touchdown catch for us in that game. He's a good player. He's a very good player. I don't want to understate that. He's a very good football player and a very good teammate and that's been important."

Doucet had some injury problems last year too and didn't get on the field a lot. How frustrating was that for him, how did he keep his confidence and what kind of character did he show you?

"It's always frustrating, especially for a player that had had success in the college ranks in a big time program like LSU. I think these guys want to play and when they're injured and can't play, it's very frustrating. I think when you have a good group of guys around him that support him, that helps, but he's learned now what he has to do to fight those things and keep his focus where it needs to be in order to prepare himself. That in my opinion makes him even more ready to be a good player in this league. Sometimes you have to go through those things to reach your potential and I think that we're seeing a little bit of that with Early."

What attracted him to you in the draft?

"He was obviously a productive player, strong player, very good run after catch, good in the slot, being able to win their, so we felt that he was a good addition to our team, especially with as many three and four receiver sets as we run. He had the versatility to play inside or outside. He was physical in the run game, good hands, did a good job of catching the ball in traffic. Those are qualities that you look for in a receiver, especially one that will go in and play the slot. Now he gives you the confidence that he'll fit in here."

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