Mortensen: 2001 archive

For Cardinals, first 'magic' feeling in nearly a year

Oct. 9
Arizona Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis said he was reminded Monday what a victory can do for an organization.

"It's a magic wand," he said. "That's what winning does to you."

It's a magic wand. That's what winning does to you.
Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis
For the Cardinals, who beat the Eagles 21-20 on Sunday, it had been almost a year since they experienced the "magic wand." Their last regular-season victory was a 16-15 decision over the Redskins on Nov. 5.

McGinnis and the Cards proceeded to lose the final seven games of the 2000 season.

The Cardinals opened this season with a bye, then sat another weekend as the NFL cancelled play because of the terrorist tragedies, before finally taking the field Sept. 23, when they lost to the Broncos. Then they fell to the Falcons.

McGinnis said the key to victory wasn't necessarily Jake Plummer's late-game scoring pass to MarTay Jenkins, but rather the fundamental principle of "taking care of the football."

"We had one turnover," he said. "It's the first time we were on the plus side. We had six in the first two games. It's not a secret about what you have to do to win games in this league."

McGinnis now takes the Cards to Chicago to face the surprising 2-1 Bears. McGinnis had praise for embattled Bears coach Dick Jauron. Ironically, Jauron was hired in January 1999 after McGinnis abruptly turned down the Bears job in a snafu by ex-Bears president Mike McCaskey.

"All I know is that a lot of people had Dick Jauron as 'dead man walking' and he just keeps on coaching 'em -- and coaching them very well," said McGinnis.

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