John Skelton – B.M.O.C.
It could be the lack of quarterbacks, or maybe he’s “just that good.” Either way, Coach Whisenhunt has decided to go with John Skelton as the Cardinals starting QB until further notice. Hey, we DID just win our first game of the last eight. There could be something to it!
(Courtesy of Bob McManaman – Arizona Republic)
Ken Whisenhunt said he plans to choose the quarterback who gives his team the best chance to win the rest of the season.
And that quarterback is …
“Right now, that’s John Skelton,” the Arizona Cardinals coach said at his Monday news conference. “Until we feel otherwise, we’ll proceed along those lines.”
// Skelton completed 15 of 37 pass attempts for 146 yards and was not intercepted or sacked in Sunday’s 43-13 rout of the Denver Broncos, which snapped a seven-game losing skid.
He wasn’t great, but he was good enough to help revive a sleepy Arizona offense that totaled 357 yards, its most in four weeks.
“He did a lot of things rookie quarterbacks do,” Whisenhunt said, “as far as mistakes, play calls in the huddle that were incorrect and had to be changed. All those things are what you expect.
“We had a plan that was scaled down for him, but what I really liked was his demeanor and how he handled himself. They brought a lot of pressure and he was able to handle that and make some throws. There’s potential there to grow into that position. That’s an exciting part of it.”
As for veteran Derek Anderson, who was inactive for Sunday’s game due to a concussion, he was to get checked again by doctors Monday.
“Now the next part of the process is he just has to be symptom-free in order to be cleared,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ll progress his activity this week and as long as he doesn’t have any symptoms, he should be cleared. But I don’t know what point in the week that will be.”
Even if Anderson is cleared, however, Skelton will start this Sunday’s 11 a.m. game at the Carolina Panthers (1-11).
Whisenhunt credited the Cardinals’ defense for rising up and helping Skelton and the offense work through some problems early against the Broncos. They pressured Denver quarterback Kyle Orton, made him move around in the pocket and forced him into making mistakes.
“Our defense stood up and when you have a young quarterback and you’re having a transition, that’s what’s got to happen,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s the reason we had success (Sunday). We were able to overcome and work our way through a few things early and he (Skelton) got better as the game progressed.”
Arizona’s defense, which produced six turnovers, has played better each of the past two weeks. Safety Kerry Rhodes, who had an interception and a fumble recovery on Sunday, said the defense “is starting to get our swagger back.”
How did they rediscover it?
“If I had known that,” Whisenhunt said, “I would have done it about eight games ago. Listen, our guys have been working the same way every week. We made some plays and we got some confidence. I don’t know what it was. I wish I could sit here and tell you it was some great motivational speech or something our players did, but it wasn’t.
“I think it was staying true to what we believe and how we prepare and how we work and we had some guys step up and make plays. I could see our confidence build yesterday and that’s what it takes.”