TEMPE, Ariz. (Dec. 26, 2006) -- Dennis Green is in what could well be his final week as coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and he was having nothing to do with talk about his job status.
Asked if he still had a burning desire to coach the Cardinals next season, he said only, "I'm not going to get into any of that stuff."
With a game at San Diego remaining in Week 17, Green is 16-31 since taking over at Arizona amid high expectations in 2004. The Cardinals (5-10) have played much better lately. Their 26-20 victory at San Francisco gave them four wins in their last six, and they finished 4-2 against NFC West opponents.
But an earlier eight-game losing streak may have sealed Green's fate in what was supposed to be a breakout season in Arizona's new stadium. The coach said he had no regrets.
"I never regret anything," he said. "It's just not part of my makeup. It really isn't. I know I'm a very blessed man. I've been in the game a long time and had a lot of success in the game, so I don't have to operate with regrets. All I know is that every day I've done the best I could do."
Green has one year left on his four-year, $10 million contract. The Bidwill family may be willing to eat that $2.5 million rather than risk eroding what finally is a sizable season ticket base. Every home game was sold out.
Firing a coach would be nothing new for the franchise. The Cardinals have had seven head coaches since moving to Arizona in 1988.
Asked about why the team's success didn't come earlier, Green said, "I just think we didn't have a lot of good luck early."
"We had a lot of mistakes that hurt us, and we had a chance to make plays and we didn't," he said. "The bottom line is you are where you're at."
Green said it's a sign of character that his players did not give up on the season when the team was 1-8.
"It's a good group. I think it really is," he said. "It starts with practice. We don't have guys coming out to practice late or coming to meetings late. They've done what they've always done. We've not had any off-field issues. A lot of times teams lose their discipline when things aren't going the way they want them to go."
Green remains upbeat about the team's future, saying it is built around safety Adrian Wilson and wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The pair, both headed to the Pro Bowl, signed long-term deals to stay in Arizona, something top players in the past have rarely done.
"Those guys have said 'I don't have to go anywhere else to seek fame, fortune and success as a player,"' Green said, "that you can do it here. Once you make a commitment, then you get other guys like that, too."
Add to that a talented young quarterback in Matt Leinart, and Green likes the franchise's chances. Leinart won't play against San Diego, though, after injuring his shoulder in the first half against San Francisco. Kurt Warner will take Leinart's place.
Green insisted he's "never given a thought" to his own employment future, but he understands why the question keeps coming up.
"I was in the media a lot, too," he said. "I know you guys have to do your job, so I don't have a problem with that. I don't get tired of answering it, but I always answer it the same way, which is truthfully."