Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nothing New under Arizona Sun: Cardinals among Nfl's Worst Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Nothing New under Arizona Sun: Cardinals among Nfl's Worst Again

Article excerpt

Same time, every year.

This year, the NFL's worst franchises of the '90s are perfect. They're 0-8, headed for who knows what.

It's impossible for the Bengals, Buccaneers, Cardinals and Jets all to remain winless this year. Tampa Bay plays at Arizona on Oct. 20, and the Jets visit Tempe the next week. Someone will end up with a victory, even if it's the only victory. Times have been lean for all four franchises recently. All have known glory - Cincinnati was in the Super Bowl as recently as 1989 - but they've kept company with disappointment, underachievement and high draft choices this decade. From 1990-95, the Jets were 35-61, the best record of the futile four, even though they were the NFL's worst team a year ago and might be again this season. The Cardinals and Bucs were next at 32-64. The Bengals, despite having the only winning season of the four (9-7 in 1990 when they won the AFC Central), were the most unproductive at 30-66. The only other playoff appearance by any of them was in 1991, when the Jets made it at 8-8 and lost in the first round to Houston. The Jets also were 8-8 in '93, and the Cardinals broke even in '94. So there is hope to at least reach mediocrity. The Jets aspired to a much higher place when they spent $72 million to upgrade the roster after a 3-13 season. But so far, nothing. "You couldn't help but think things would be different. We picked up some great guys," says Jets cornerback Aaron Glenn, one of their few productive players. "I'm sure there are a lot of people saying, `Here we go again.' We can't do that, or the season will be over for us already." Just about everyone in New York is counting them out, wondering if they can wind up with the No. 1 pick (and Peyton Manning?) again. People already are calling for coach Rich Kotite's firing. They've been calling for owner Leon Hess to sell the team for years. "I'm not going to sit in my office and worry about what took place two seasons ago, or even last season," Kotite says. …

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