Ken Whisenhunt seems to be concerned with getting out of the final preseason game without injuries against the Denver Broncos. The Arizona Cardinals head coach is in no man’s land when it comes to naming a starting quarterback for Week 1 based on the inconsistent performances from Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. Cardinals fans won’t even see Kolb or Skelton this Thursday in the final preseason game. Whisenhunt would rather have his two quarterbacks battle it out in competitive practices while third string quarterback Ryan Lindley gets a chance to play against the starters on Thursday. Who will be named the Cards starting quarterback? Whisenhunt explains the method behind his madness at the quarterback position.
Ken Whisenhunt joined KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf to discuss his expectations for the quarterback position right now, not being frustrated that neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton have won the quarterback competition yet, the reason behind not playing Kevin Kolb and John Skelton for the final preseason game on Thursday, and the possibility of Ryan Lindley being the Cardinals starting quarterback against Seattle in Week One.
Regardless of who becomes the starter this season what are your expectations for the quarterback position?
“Number one is we can’t turn the ball over the way we have done in the preseason. If you look at where we are as a team if we don’t turn the ball over we got a pretty good football team. Especially with the way we played the last couple. Even if you think back to the Tennessee game. I felt like Tennessee was a 9-7 team last year and was a pretty good squad. Even as badly as it started out for us in the third quarter we took over and were pretty much controlling the game and if we don’t have the turnovers, we had five turnovers in that game and we still had a chance to win it at the end. If you take away those turnovers we come out of that game feeling very good with where we are as a team and what we’ve accomplished. To me number one at the position we can’t turn over the ball the way we have in the preseason.”
Is the most frustrating issue in training camp the fact that no one has proven they can be the starting quarterback?
“Well Doug I don’t remember it being that clear back when we made the decision to go with Kurt Warner. At that time there was a lot of different opinions about that, so I think this year is similar from that standpoint. I think you would like to have a clear cut vision of who that guy would be. That’s what you would hope for, but it hasn’t come out that way. That’s the way it goes sometimes and I think ultimately we have to stick to our process and pick the best…the player we think best gives us a chance to win. That’s what we are going to do.”
With both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton not playing on Thursday night against Denver, what is your reasoning behind waiting to name a starter?
“Well I still have competitive practices. We are not game planning, but we are still working on some things at practice and when you have a game like last week and you talk about the quarterback specifically about expectations going forward and corrections from the game we still have a period where we get a chance to evaluate them, so that’s going to play a part of it. That’s what we are doing. The thinking with Ryan Lindley is going into this game I don’t know how much of our offensive line is going to play. Obviously we want to put D’Anthony Batiste in at left tackle, Bobby Massie at right tackle because that stabilized us at Tennessee last week and we want to see it to start the game. I don’t know if we are going to get enough snaps to evenly divide between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, so how are you going to assess them playing a game when they are playing with two different lines against possibly two different sets of defenses? So that’s the thinking. With that being the case why not take a chance to get a young guy who looks good in preseason to get an opportunity to play early in the game and see how he handles it.”
Is there a possibility that you are evaluating Ryan Lindley as a starter for Week One against Seattle?
“Well I said today earlier that I want to be clear about this: Ryan Lindley will not come out of this game as our starting quarterback. That is not what the purpose of this game is. It’s just like I don’t expect William Powell to come out of this game as our starting running back nor do I expect Reggie Walker to unseat Daryl Washington, but when you talk about Ryan Lindley and you are excited about what you’ve seen him do with the limited reps and the limited time in the preseason…one of the knocks well he’s done that against No.3′s. Well we will put him in a situation since we have this unique opportunity with the 5th game to put him in there and see how he does earlier in the game with the No.1′s and No.2′s against the No.1′s and the No.2′s. Then you’ll get an assessment, so with the position down the road who knows if you have to go through? Well at least you have an assessment on how he will handle a situation. When I say who knows I am not talking about starting. I am just talking about you don’t know with injuries or what happens at that position and who is going to have to play for you? This is a chance much like with the other guys that I mentioned to evaluate him in a unique situation. It’s beneficial to all of us.”