GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Derek Anderson raised his voice and his eyes bulged wide. Looking directly at a reporter in the crowd, the Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback let loose.
Taking exception to repeated questions about why he was laughing on the sideline late in a blowout loss to San Francisco, Anderson went on a profanity-laced tirade during a postgame news conference Monday night before abruptly walking out.
“You think I was laughing about something?” Anderson said, his voice getting louder with nearly every word. “I take this serious! Real serious! I put my heart and soul into this every single week!”
Anderson has taken plenty of blame for Arizona’s six-game losing streak and had another pedestrian game in Monday night’s 27-6 loss to San Francisco, going 16 of 35 for 196 yards and an interception.
Late in the loss to the 49ers, TV cameras showed Anderson sharing a laugh with guard Deuce Lutui on the sideline. When initially asked about the exchange after the game, Anderson quietly said Lutui had told him something to keep them positive, and that they can hopefully get on the same page.
Anderson calmly answered another question about a different topic, then started to lose his temper as the reporter came back to the shared laugh.
“I’m telling you right now what I do every single week! Every single week I put my heart and soul into this!” Anderson yelled. “I don’t go out there and laugh. It’s not funny. Nothing’s funny to me. I don’t want go out there and get embarrassed on Monday Night Football in front of everybody.”
The back-and-forth continued for a few more seconds, then Anderson walked out of the news conference, saying he was done. He marched quickly through Arizona’s locker room, then got his leg caught on a teammates’ pads before storming through a set of double doors.
The outburst was reminiscent of a memorable 2006 postgame tirade by then-Cardinals coach Dennis Green, who pounded the podium and yelled “The Bears are who we thought they were!” after a loss to Chicago.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said he didn’t see Anderson and Lutui smiling, and didn’t want to comment until he saw the tape.
“I didn’t see that. I’d be disappointed if that was the case,” Whisenhunt said. “I didn’t sense from talking with Derek in the fourth quarter or talking with our offensive line that that was the case. Until I would see that, I would be hesitant to say anything about it.”
Anderson, who once apologized for an outburst in Cleveland, has gone through a rough first season in the desert, Arizona’s first since star quarterback Kurt Warner retired.
The former Pro Bowler earned the starting job late in training camp over Matt Leinart, then was replaced by rookie Max Hall in a blowout loss to San Diego on Oct. 3. Anderson went back under center after Hall sustained a concussion against Seattle on Oct. 24, then took over the job full-time again the following week when Hall threw two interceptions in the first quarter against Tampa Bay.
The Cardinals haven’t been able to win no matter who has played quarterback, and Anderson has taken much of the criticism for being at the helm of one of the NFL’s worst offenses.