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Monday, January 19, 2009
Whisenhunt downplays Boldin-Haley tiff

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The heated sideline conversation between Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley was neither unusual nor destructive nor an issue.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt described it that way during his news conference Monday. Boldin wasn't available to reporters during the subsequent locker room session. That wasn't unusual, however. Most of the team's top players weren't available.

Nose tackle Bryan Robinson and other players said players routinely get into arguments on the sideline during an NFL game.

My earlier thoughts on the matter (more here):

The temptation is to put all of this on the player, but I do think Todd Haley was right in noting that his emotional nature plays a role in those things. The goal is to get the most from a player. Haley learned from Bill Parcells, who believed in harsh motivational tactics. I think these sorts of things are OK if the coach is under control. But if the coach is losing control of a situation, then I question whether that is the best way to go.

In fairness to all, we need to hear Boldin's explanation before we convict him of insubordination or anything else. Beyond that, Boldin frankly isn't big enough to tarnish this experience for the Cardinals. This coaching staff has proven no individual is bigger than the team. Ask Edgerrin James. Boldin has a long record of professionalism in how he approaches his work. Let's hear from him before we make statements about his behavior tarnishing the moment.

We probably won't hear from Boldin until later in the week. The Cardinals appear confident the situation will blow over and become a non-issue as the Super Bowl approaches.