- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TEMPE, ARIZ. (AP) - Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson has apologized for his Monday night post-game tirade.

“My mom and dad didn’t raise me to act like that in times of adversity,” he said.

The quarterback’s rant, now a nationwide Internet spectacle, came after a series of questions from a reporter about why Anderson was smiling with teammate Deuce Lutui on the sidelines while the Cardinals were trailing by 18 points late in the game. The brief clip of the two grinning had been shown during the Monday night telecast.

Anderson said after the game that it was no one’s business what he and Lutui were talking about. As the reporter persisted, Anderson lost his temper and shouted about how he had put his “freaking heart and soul” into the team and that there was nothing funny about it.

He was low-key and contrite as he opened his weekly news conference on Wednesday.

“Let’s try to do this in a manner that doesn’t end up all over the YouTube, if we can,” he said. ” … Obviously I was very frustrated by what had happened during the game, and I let my emotions get away from me.”

The blowup came after the Cardinals lost their seventh straight 27-6 in a flat, listless performance against the San Francisco 49ers.

“I’ve been through some rough times in football,” Anderson said, “but I think it obviously was one of the most frustrating times for me, a game that I felt like going in that we were very prepared for. I had a very good week of practice, like I said, and to lay an egg on national television was not only frustrating for me but frustrating to every one of the guys that’s out here every single day and sees what we’re capable of doing.”

The pressure has been on Anderson since coach Ken Whisenhunt named him the starter in the preseason, then released Kurt Warner’s heir-apparent, Matt Leinart. At one point, Whisenhunt benched Anderson but went back to him after rookie Max Hall struggled mightily. Whisenhunt said on Tuesday that Anderson will start Sunday against St. Louis.

Whisenhunt has brushed aside the smiling on the sidelines, saying it’s unfair to interpret anything from a few seconds of video. On Wednesday, Whisenhunt repeated his praise of Anderson’s work ethic.

“I give that man his credit,” the coach said. “He works hard, he studies hard. It’s important to him. That position is a tough position.”

Anderson entered the season completing 52.9 percent of his passes for his NFL career. He’s at 52.8 percent this year. Among starting quarterbacks, only Carolina rookie Jimmy Clausen is lower at 50 percent.

“What gets lost is the situations that you’re in sometimes,” Whisenhunt said. “I think that’s a tough way to judge it but that’s the way a lot of people do.”

Arizona’s offense ranks 31st out of 32 teams, and as always is the case with quarterbacks, Anderson gets the brunt of the criticism from fans.

“Our expectations for him in that position are that we can do some things and move the football and we haven’t been doing that as good this year,” Whisenhunt said. “And that’s on everybody, but as with that position, he gets the blame for it. That’s the tough part of it.”

Anderson said he tries to avoid his critics.

“I don’t know necessarily how much I have been blamed,” he said. “I put my phones away yesterday and everything. I just keep a close-knit family and friends around me and we talk about life, which I think is the best way to handle times when they are rough like this for everybody.”

Running back Tim Hightower said he felt for his quarterback over the last two days.

“People don’t realize exactly how much pressure he has on his shoulders,” Hightower said. “For people to point the finger at him and say he’s the problem, it’s easy to point out the problem when you haven’t walked a mile in that guy’s shoes. You have no clue the preparation that he does on a day in day out basis.

“I was going through the same thing when I was fumbling. … All I can do is support him.”

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