Kevin C. Cox
Why Whisenhunt did not go to John Skelton on Sunday is puzzling
It seemed that the whole world was waiting on Sunday for Arizona Cardinls head coach Ken Whisenhunt to make a quarterback change from Ryan Lindley to John Skelton, but it never happened. The result of sticking with the sixth round rookie? 0-15 on third down, five total first downs, 11 three-and-outs an interception and zero touchdowns.
Of course, the questions came after the game and on Monday in Whisenhunt's press conference.
Did they think about making a move? Yes. Why didn't they? Whiz said this, as noted on the team's website:
"We talked about it in the course of the game. But when you play a team that gives you a multitude of different looks and how it is being communicated, at the point where you have to make that (QB) change, you have to understand, is it because the guy in there is not playing well? Because you are going to lose a lot of what you have gone through in the first parts of the game as far as understanding the protections and where the sights are and where the checks are."
He cited a number of things that were done wrong on offense that did not help Lindley, but it really was clear that Lindley was not playing well. Skelton, as unevenly as he has played, would have been an improvement.
So has Whiz lost confidence in Skelton?
"I wouldn't say I lost confidence in John's ability," Whiz responded.
That is interesting -- he only talked about not having lost confidence in his ability. That means he lost confidence in something or some things else.
Skelton was asked the same thing. He responded, saying, "I hope there is nothing I did to deter him from coming back to me."
Now, in fairness, because of the type of game that it was, all it took was connecting on one play to change everything, much like it would do a season ago with Skelton making comebacks.
However, when a coach preaches getting the job done or replacing guys with others that will, the lack of a change was head-scratching.
How could you NOT make a change?
Getting back to Whiz' confidence. He does not doubt Skelton's ability...so what did he lose confidence in? Was it in his execution? Has he practiced poorly?
he may not have lost confidence in Skelton's ability, but he certainly lost faith in something.
Maybe in the end, the decision to stick with Lindley was something mandated or at least strongly encouraged by the front office. It might not be.
However, when you are asked about losing confidence and you point out only one thing you have not lost confidence in, it makes it sound like there are definitely other things that have caused a loss of trust.
Will we see John Skelton play as an Arizona Cardinal? Based on last Sunday, it doesn't look like it will happen this season.