Great Moments in Press Conference History: Dennis Green
The Arizona Cardinals may have finally shed their “joke” team label this past season, as they rode Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald all the way to an appearance in the Superbowl, a game they would have won had it not been for Ben Roethlisberger’s all-time great final drive. They made their way to prominence mainly through Warner’s MVP-caliber season, but it was due in no small part to the new coaching staff that had been installed, led by Ken Whisenhunt. But the subject of today’s Great Moment in Press Conference History is not Whisenhunt, but Dennis Green, who had been ousted following the 2006 season, the one in which he delivered his most memorable moment as a coach.
Green coached the Cardinals to a 16-32 record in three years, following an up-and-down career as the Minnesota Vikings’ head coach. He compiled a 4-8 postseason record that did not include any Superbowl appearances, so like other coaches in this series he experienced his most memorable moment after a game.
In 2006, the Cardinals were still firmly entrenched in joke status, dealing with a quarterback controversy and stumbling once again out of the gate. They arrived in Chicago with a 1-4 record to face a Bears team that at the time had the stingiest defense in the NFL with just 38 points allowed through five games, and were sitting pretty at 5-0. Apparently, through all this, Green still thought very little of this Bears team.
Whatever gameplan Green had installed, it worked wonders for the first three quarters. Chicago ended up with just 168 yards of total offense, and Bears QB Rex Grossman threw four interceptions and lost two fumbles. The Cardinals held a 20-0 lead at halftime.
So how exactly did they screw this one up? After exchanging field goals, it started with a Matt Leinart fumble on the three yard line, which Bears safety Mike Brown recovered and took into the endzone to make it 23-10. Edgerrin James committed another Cardinals fumble with just five minutes remaining, resulting in another touchdown run for the Bears defense. Punt return extraordinaire Devin Hester put the icing on the comeback cake with 2:58 remaining in the game when he took it 83 yards to the endzone for the Bears, who took a 24-23 lead.
What many people may forget about this game is that the Cardinals had a golden opportunity to take the game back from the Bears on their final drive. Kicker Neil Rackers was set up from a deep yet very make-able 40 yards, but the kick sailed wide right to seal the amazing comeback for the Bears.
Green was furious after his team blew the 20-point lead and let the game slip away, and in such sloppy fashion. We’ll never know exactly what he and the Cardinals thought the Bears were, but it’s apparent that he didn’t think they were very good. To prove Green wrong, the Bears ended up in the Superbowl that season. In the heat of the moment, Green delivered a classic press conference moment. Not much else needs to be said here, so just enjoy the video!
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