Cardinals Starting QB Election?
Two of the big stories today:
1) Election Day
2) Coach Whisenhunt not naming a starting QB
I say we combine the two and create a “Starting QB Election Day!” If we have the power to elect government officials, why not elect the guy who will throw the football?
(Courtesy of Bob McManaman – Arizona Republic)
Ken Whisenhunt wasn’t ready to name his starting quarterback on Monday. Does it really matter at this point?
In Max Hall and Derek Anderson, the Cardinals basically have a two-headed monster equally capable of driving their head coach batty.
// Both quarterbacks have shown a propensity for making mistakes and when it comes to picking which one is going to start Sunday at the Minnesota Vikings, Whisenhunt wants more time so he doesn’t make a mistake, either.
“We’ll finish our evaluation with our team today; we haven’t watched the tape yet with them,” Whisenhunt said Monday, a day after the Cardinals’ deflating 38-35 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “Then we’ll move on to Minnesota and start game-planning for them and that will obviously determine which way we go with that.”
It would seem Whisenhunt will lean toward the more experienced Anderson, especially considering the loud, hostile environment the Cardinals can expect at the Metrodome.
But Whisenhunt refused to provide any hints. Asked whether it would be tough to start Hall in a place like Minnesota after what he’s seen from his young quarterback so far, he said: “It’s tough on a rookie no matter what. You understand that when you have a rookie quarterback. Our expectations were that if Max is the guy, he’ll play well, that he’ll do what he needs to do.”
Hall, making his third consecutive start, had two interceptions returned for touchdowns against Tampa Bay and was replaced by Anderson during the Cardinals’ third possession of the second quarter. Hall completed 8 of 16 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown and also led Arizona on another scoring drive capped by a Beanie Wells rushing touchdown.
But Whisenhunt lost his patience after Hall’s second interception and went back to Anderson, who started the first four games. Anderson completed 16 of 24 passes for 234 yards and a touchdown, but he also was intercepted twice, including a pass he forced into coverage on a potential game-tying or possible game-winning drive.
Turnovers have been the story of the season for the Cardinals. Well, that and their inconsistent play at quarterback. The two have gone hand-in-hand.
Whisenhunt was asked whether flip-flopping his starting quarterback could be damaging to building any stability at the position this season.
“I wish obviously that we had played better at that position and we had stability there,” he said. “We’re trying to win games now.”
There doesn’t appear to be a long-term answer at quarterback nor a short-term fix. It’s sink or swim with Anderson or Hall.
Hall needed 27 offensive possessions over three games before guiding the team to a rushing or receiving touchdown. Does he deserve to still be the starter?
“The coaches are going to make that decision and my job is to just prepare like I am and make sure I can get myself and the team better,” Hall said Monday.
Anderson wasn’t available for comment Monday but said after Sunday’s game, “Whatever coach decides.”
The Cardinals, at least, won’t have to worry about facing receiver Randy Moss on Sunday. The Vikings released the veteran on Monday, a day after Moss criticized the organization during a bizarre postgame news conference following a loss to his former team, the Patriots.
“As a corner, as a defender, as a player, I’m heart-broke by that,” said Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. “You look forward to going up against a guy like a Randy Moss. It lets you know what kind of player you are.”
Safety Kerry Rhodes viewed it a bit differently.
“I’m not heartbroken by it at all,” he said.