Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
By refusing to ever address the starting quarterback situation, the Cardinals' head coach ended up avoiding controversy
Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said many times that the team would need both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton this season. How prophetic that turned out to be. And at the same time, when fans and media were trying to find out if there was any controversy, or even stirring the pot to try and cause it, Whisenhunt kicked questions aside and more or less ignored them.
Whiz made his decision to make Skelton the starting quarterback after the preseason. Whether it was to light a fire under Kolb or because he really thought that Skelton gave the team a better chance to win, it didn't matter because Kolb had to come in Week 1 and replace an injured Skelton. Kolb won that game, and then won another and another and another.
Each week, with the play and the wins, the questions came -- will Skelton return to the starting job when he is healthy? all he did was say that he doesn't need to worry about it until Skelton is healthy.
Based on play, the wins and comments from teammates, it sounded like Kolb took the job away, but it was never definitive.
It was a luxury. Skelton's ankle got to the 90s in terms of health, but even he said that it will probably stay there until he can completely rest -- as in the offseason. It meant that he was healthy but because he wasn't 100 percent, the team could use that as the reason why Kolb was starting.
There would have been a moment in which Whisenhunt would have had to say the Kolb was the guy. But that didn't happen because he got hurt on Sunday.
Now that Kolb is hurt, Skelton steps back in and no controversy ever occurred.
Imagine how it would have felt for fans or teammates had Whiz said before Skelton was ready to play that Kolb was the starter and that Skelton would sit? Who knows how Skelton reacts?
Now, it is simply Skelton stepping again as the starter, just as he was at the start of the season. Whisenhunt waited and waited, and he never had to actually say anything publicly.
It was the right choice. No feathers were ruffled. No arguments happened. Everything is fine.
Now if Kolb gets health before the end of the season and Skelton is also healthy, Whiz may yet have to make that public statement as to who the starter is. But my guess is that Skelton will either get hurt, or Kolb won't be ready to play before the regular season ends.
But Whiz won that card game. He held his hand long enough and everyone else folded. It was lucky (or unlucky, as he did lose a quarterback for perhaps the rest of the season), but it was well played.