FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Does Ken Whisenhunt deserve to be on the hot seat?
In a logical, rational world, no. Whisenhunt has already taken the Cardinals to the playoffs twice and the Super Bowl once. In the Cardinals 19 previous seasons in Arizona, they had made the playoffs just once.
The sixth-year coach has a 4-2 postseason record, has had just one losing season in his previous five years in charge and stayed the course last season after a 1-6 start, helping the Cards flip the script for a 7-2 finish and an 8-8 record.
"How we finished the second half of last year happened partly because he was so cool," said veteran linebacker Clark Haggans, who has played for Whisenhunt for five seasons here and was also on the Steelers team on which Whisenhunt was an assistant.
"There was no panic button. It was just, 'We have to do it better, and we will.'"
Unfortunately for Whisenhunt, the NFL isnt a logical, rational world.
"Its a what-have-you-done-for-me-now kind of league," Cardinals center Lyle Sendlein said.
On some level, Whisenhunt understands this.
"People want to see victories," he said. "Thats how they measure it."
At the same time, he doesnt understand why talk has turned to his job security during the offseason.
"There werent questions when we finished winning seven of our last nine," he said. "We havent played a game since, and I dont think weve gotten worse as a team, so I just dont understand where thats coming from."
Heres where: The Cardinals havent been to the playoffs in two seasons. In the instant-gratification world of the NFL, thats more than enough to spark speculation.
For proof, Haggans points to a recent example.
"Look at the Giants," he said. "Before Tom Coughlin won the Super Bowl, they wanted to fire him. They wanted to fire him during the season they won the Super Bowl! This business is brutal."
Sendlein said Whisenhunt has the full support and confidence of his players. And for now, Whisenhunt has that same support from team president Michael Bidwill, who was nothing but positive in his public comments about Whisenhunt during last seasons horrid start.
But how long will that last if the Cards get off to another rocky start, particularly with the latter half of their schedule stacked with five roads games and six games against team that finished .500 or better last season?
"A fast start is important for any team," Sendlein said. "But how we start wont affect how he acts. He never brings that stuff into our focus on Sunday. He doesnt bring any of the outside flack in."
That even-keeled, open-minded approach will be one of Whisenhunts greatest allies in his quest to solidify his longevity and his status as one the games best coaches. So, too may be his unwillingness to deviate from the plan in which he believes.
"Im a little bit old-school. I resist change with a lot of things because I feel like Ive been around some pretty good coaches that have had a lot of success in this league, and I like to try to (stick) to that formula," Whisenhunt said.
Its not that he hasnt changed or adapted as his head coaching career has progressed. Hes made subtle changes in how he talks to players as well as subtle tweaks in practices and in games.
But "I tried to be consistent, day in day out, with our belief that we were going to be successful," he said of last season's turnaround. "Youd like to think that that had an impact. I dont know if it did."
The 2012 season will tell. And theres only one way Whisenhunts impact will be measured.
"This job is about winning," he said. "I want to win and the fans want to win, and were committed to doing that. All the other things, I cant control. All you do is keep your head down and you work."
Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter