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Whisenhunt says Kolb vs. Skelton is as even as a competition can be

Arizona Cardinals Training Camp Getty Images

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt says that he’ll pick either Kevin Kolb or John Skelton as his starting quarterback based entirely on who looks better between now and September, and that he’s heading into the competition with no favorite in place.

Whisenhunt told Jim Rome on Rome that he doesn’t know who his starting quarterback will be, and he’s as eager as anyone to see one of his quarterbacks establish himself as the starter.

“That’s the question that’s going to be answered through the workouts this spring and in training camp this summer,” Whisenhunt said. “They’ve both been working hard at it. It’s been good to get out on the field and actually work on techniques and fundamentals with these guys. At times last year they both showed they can do good things. But consistency at that position is something we’ve got to improve on. So hopefully the competition between both of them will sharpen up one of them enough that he’ll be a good starter for us.”

Although Whisenhunt acknowledged that Kolb — who just a year ago was viewed as the team’s long-term franchise quarterback — might seem to most like the favorite in the quarterback race. But Whisenhunt said he doesn’t want to go into the race with a favorite because he wants both quarterbacks to be of the mindset that they can prove they deserve the job.

“I think the knee-jerk reaction would be to say that it is Kevin’s job to lose,” Whisenhunt said. “But then you have to look at what John Skelton did last year in winning those games when he was in there. So I think you have to give John a lot of credit for winning those games. I certainly have a lot of respect for Kevin and what he’s done in this league and we made the commitment to bring him in to our football team. So it’s going to start out as even as it possibly can, and we’re going to let the best player take it from there. We did that many years ago when we had Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart, and it worked out pretty good for us. So hopefully we’ll have that same kind of magic.”

There’s just one problem with Whisenhunt’s Leinart-Warner analogy: It isn’t true that when he was coaching those two he made it an even competition and let the best player play. In fact, in 2007 Whisenhunt started Leinart over Warner even though it was obvious that Warner was better than Leinart, solely because Leinart was a highly drafted 24-year-old and Whisenhunt believed the Cardinals were a rebuilding team who should stick with the younger player. Whisenhunt eventually saw the error of his ways, picked Warner over Leinart, and got to the Super Bowl with Warner leading the way, but that was only after he gave Leinart more chances than his play warranted.

The good news is that Whisenhunt seems to have learned a lesson from the Warner-Leinart competition when it comes to choosing a quarterback. The bad news is that neither Kolb nor Skelton has done anything to make anyone believe he can be anything like Kurt Warner.

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27 Responses to “Whisenhunt says Kolb vs. Skelton is as even as a competition can be”
  1. hulkhogansays says: May 17, 2012 7:13 PM

    You get Kirk Cousins. Redskins get 2nd and 4th. Problem solved, brother.

  2. nineroutsider says: May 17, 2012 7:16 PM

    Skelton can take a beating and keep on ticking; I think he will win it. The 9ers pounded him all game last year and he stood tall in that pocket and made some throws; Kolb can’t do that. Even if Kolb is a little more polished, Skelton can stay on the field and will catch and surpass Kolb.

    I hope they choose Kolb and set their development back, but I think Skelton starts the year under center.

    Teams got another thing coming if they thing the NFC West is weak this year…

  3. bucks12965 says: May 17, 2012 7:17 PM

    Translation: Since we overpaid for sucky Kolb, we need to give him extra time to try get his game up to Skelton’s level.

  4. putyournameonit says: May 17, 2012 7:20 PM

    If thats the case Wiz, then you ability to evaluate QB talent is terrible.

  5. woodyg says: May 17, 2012 7:26 PM

    Ahhhh, the constant search for an ‘elite’ QB in the NFL. Unfortunately, a couple years down the road neither Kolb nor Skelton will look like the answer & the Cardinals will still be searching for that missing player. Wisenhunt will be long gone & the names of the “new” savior of the franchise will have changed again.

    So it goes for the bottom-dwellers.

  6. jacksaysfu says: May 17, 2012 7:29 PM

    As a Eagles fan this post makes me smile

  7. cush2push says: May 17, 2012 7:34 PM

    Good job cardinals you traded a second round pick and a very good corner to have the pleasure of a qb competition with a late round pick

  8. jacksaysfu says: May 17, 2012 7:36 PM

    Ummm the Cards passed on Cousins for at least 3 straight rounds , so in what universe would Arizona give up a 2nd & a 4th for mediocre Kirk ? Washington is trash , your fans are pigs that wear dresses , and you’ve finished last place in your division 4 years straight . Has your team even won a playoff game in this millennium ? Enjoy year 5 in the basement of the East ! Signed , the fans of the team you can’t beat , the Philadelphia Eagles

  9. monosylab1k says: May 17, 2012 8:00 PM

    I know they don’t want to admit such a huge mistake in the Kolb signing by going with Skelton, but based on 2011 it’s the right decision IMO. At least Fordham’s Finest has the nerve to rip it when the windows are tight and give his receivers a chance to make plays…Kolb crumbles under pressure. I think a lot of casual observers would say, “All I know is that after Skelton started playing last year, I finally saw Fitzgerald on Sportscenter highlights.”

  10. trbowman says: May 17, 2012 8:12 PM

    Why is that coaching staff continuing to ignore its best quarterback, Rich Bartel?

    When he goes out and outperforms Kolb and Skelton in preseason for the second straight year, will Whisenhunt then open his eyes?

  11. pa1856 says: May 17, 2012 8:41 PM

    Kolb was only slated as the starter for one game in Phili.. He hasn’t done much.

  12. milehigh85 says: May 17, 2012 8:49 PM

    Haha! @trbowman, you are the same guy who thinks Brady Quinn medicine woman is a legitimate starting NFL quarterback right???

  13. shotgunnaz says: May 17, 2012 8:51 PM

    Rich Bartel? are you kidding me right now. We paid Kolb so we have to give him the chance to earn his stripes. But the way Skelton played last season, he definitely earned the right to a fair competition in a full offseason. I like Skelton a lot but after the money we threw at Kolb, you need to evaluate them both fairly and openly.

  14. 561bengal says: May 17, 2012 9:05 PM

    Totally agree Bartel is a stud!

  15. cardsfann1 says: May 17, 2012 9:09 PM

    Going to be an interesting qb battle. I love Skelton but if Kolb is healthy I think he will get the nod.

  16. eaglessuperfan says: May 17, 2012 9:15 PM

    This headline shows how bad it really is in Arizona at QB.

  17. schmitty2 says: May 17, 2012 9:15 PM

    Either way you swing it..Cards fans can’t be pleased by this

  18. packerswambulance says: May 17, 2012 9:35 PM

    Good News and Bad News:
    Good News=Kolb and Skelton are competing for the starting job.
    Bad News=Kolb and Skelton are competing for the starting job….

  19. adlent says: May 17, 2012 9:46 PM

    “Signed , the fans of the team you can’t beat , the Philadelphia Eagles”

    Beat the Eagles in the first game we played season before last. Crunched Vick’s ribs, too. Your post is invalid.

  20. briang123 says: May 17, 2012 9:46 PM

    If Kolb is even with Skelton then Kolb has already lost.

  21. stoutfiles says: May 17, 2012 9:47 PM

    @jacksaysfu

    How many Super Bowls have the Eagles won again? I mean, it must be more than the three the Redskins have, right?

  22. dal24la says: May 17, 2012 10:49 PM

    packerswambulance says:
    Good News and Bad News:
    Good News=Kolb and Skelton are competing for the starting job.
    Bad News=Kolb and Skelton are competing for the starting job….

    —————————————————–

    Beat me to it lol.
    This is like when Browns had a QB battle between Brady Quinn and Derek anderson a few years ago…

  23. jason49er says: May 17, 2012 11:06 PM

    Kolb and his $7M roster bonus will be under center week 1, this is all lip service and coach-speak.

  24. pxeeks says: May 17, 2012 11:41 PM

    Seriously what has Kolb EVER done to deserve to be named a starting QB in the NFL. He is earning millions and getting his name in articles FOR WHAT is beyond me. What has this turd done for any team or the league. #Eagles

  25. deathtoromo says: May 18, 2012 12:04 PM

    They both suck. Of course it’s neck and neck.

  26. icardfan says: May 18, 2012 1:34 PM

    Always nice to see the troll Eagles fans on here ripping the Kolb trade and the Cards Franchise. Respect to the Eagles fans who actually say something that requires thought and providing insight about the trade or Kolb. Rip Kolb all you want but you can’t fault a team for trying to win and nutting up with a trade/big contract. DRC was expendable due to DC Horton’s defense requiring CB that can tackle. I’ll gamble a 2nd rounder and a big contract to try for a franchise QB. So it didn’t work out. Maybe next time we trade up in the draft. After years of sucking I’m just glad The Cards have turned it around and are trying to win and not just turn a profit. Props to Michael Bidwill and Rod Graves for trying. Go Cards!

  27. choice1329 says: May 19, 2012 12:28 PM

    Well, well, well, Kevin Kolb has been given (and I do mean given) the starting position twice, and he’s still completing for the starting position……………..oh wait something about that doesn’t makes sense, let me try again. Kolb has been given (and I do mean given) the starting position twice and he’s still competing for the starting position. For some reason that still doesn’t make sense…….Get my point, Kolb is a bum, now that makes sense.

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