A lot of NFL coaches are insecure. That’s one of the reasons you will hear the ’no respect’ card being played by many of them. Why try to out-scheme and out-smart an opponent when they can try to make up for it with faux motivation. It’s like the pep talk version of a can of Red Bull. Yeah, it might get you pumped up for a little while, but the crash that comes shortly after provides a quick dose of reality.
But two days before they kickoff the 2015 season, the Cardinals might actually have a legitimate claim of getting no respect. I doubt if Bruce Arians uses it, mentions it, or gives a rip about it, because that's not his style, but I seriously could not believe my eyes when I read the Sports Illustrated NFL preview issue this week and saw that they had picked the Cardinals to finish last in the NFC West.
They went with Seattle to finish first. That’s fine, I get it, go with the safe choice, especially after showcasing Russell Wilson on your cover of the issue. But then things really get weird. SI went with the Rams to finish second. Isn't this the same thing we hear about the Rams every year. Their defense is so good. Blah blah blah. Believe me, the only thing St. Louis will finish second in is a popularity contest of NFL teams in Missouri.
Attention Sports Illustrated; Rams coach Jeff Fisher peaked when his team came a yard short in the Super Bowl. 15 years ago! You do know you’re picking a team that has Nick Foles as their quarterback to win 11 games? I’m curious, do you have a research department Sports Illustrated?
You’ve probably figured it out by now, but the magazine picked San Francisco to finish third in the NFC West. Do they have enough players left to even field a team in Santa Clara? Hasn’t everybody either quit or moved on? I’m trying to figure this selection out, how it’s possible to go with the Niners to finish third in the NFC West, and the only thing I can think of is this pick assures the editors of SI they'll get better Super Bowl 50 tickets or something.
I would understand seeing the Niners being picked third in the NFC West if it was the NFL preview issue of The Onion. But Sports Illustrated? Let me guess, the super models from your Swimsuit Issue made the picks, right? At least that makes more sense.
Trust me on this; the odds are much, much greater that the San Francisco 49ers will be the absolute worst team in the entire NFC than the odds of the Niners finishing third in the NFC West. Heck, I don’t know for sure how the 1-3 spots will go in the NFC West, but I do know that the 49ers will finish fourth.
Forget the SI curse. If he was a little less secure in his coaching manhood, Bruce Arians might want to gather his team together and curse at SI.
Follow Tom Zenner on Twitter @tomzenner