Condolences to Mike Sherman, along with an apology for my being goofy enough to insist Norm Chow would get the gig. From the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers.

The Cardinals have hired Ken Whisenhunt (above, right), the Steelers offensive coordinator, as their head coach, the Cardinals announced this morning.

Whisenhunt agreed to a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth year. Financial terms were not released. Because Monday is Martin Luther King Day, Whisenhunt will be introduced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Whisenhunt, 44, has been the Steelers offensive coordinator the past three years, and is known as a bold play caller who also places heavy emphasis on a strong running game. His work with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger likely helped him get the Cardinals job.

The Patriots’ ability to contain LaDainian Tomlinson
will be tested in about 2 hours, and the Boston Herald’s Albert Breer pays tribute to the Hooded Casanova’s strategic prowess.

How did the Patriots hold Peyton Manning and the œunstoppable Colts aerial attack to three points in the 2004 playoffs? Because they felt like they were playing the scout team. Why did Minnesota™s top-rated defense collapse against the Pats in October? Because the offense was ready to go in like surgeons and operate relentlessly on a weakness detected on film.

œBill is able to not play a game but play situational football, CB Ellis Hobbs said. œEvery game presents situations, and we™re able to go out there and know whatever situation that we™re in, we had in practice. Then, it™s just a matter of us executing. Anytime you see us, if we™re losing games or winning games, it™s because we executed a situation properly, or we didn™t handle it right.”

Over at the ugly spaceship known as Nuevo Solider Field, Shaun Alexander just slipped through traffic on 4th and inches to score a TD, a 5 play Seattle drive set up by a Rex Grossman fumble. I suspect most Bears fans will figure holding Alexander to 33 yards rushing in the first half is a fair tradeoff compared to just one Grossman turnover (so far). The Seahawks and Bears are tied at 14 with 2:23 remaining in the first half.

Somewha lost in the hoopla over New Orleans’ dramatic win over Philly last night is the growing tension between Joe Horn and Sean Payton. Horn claimed on ESPN Radio prior to kickoff that he would’ve been ready to play, and when asked why he’d been rendered inactive, suggested that reporters should “ask the Coach Of The Year.”