As the Arizona Cardinals prepare for their Week 15 road game against the Carolina Panthers, Coach Ken Whisenhunt announced that rookie John Skelton would start at quarterback again, regardless of the health of Derek Anderson. He also addressed the issue of draft status and the remaining games on the schedule. Despite the fact that mant fans and media members would prefer to see the Cardinals put themselves in a position to be able to have a higher draft pick to select a player such as Andrew Luck, he made it clear that winning is the goal of the team for the final three games.
Whisenhunt jokingly said that he talked to former coach Herm Edwards about playing out the rest of the season and quoted his famous "You play to win the game!" comment. Then, turning more serious, he said, "No, we want to win games. It's important to us. It's been a very tough stretch here the last seven weeks. That's what we're focused on. We'll worry about that (the draft) when the time comes." He wants to reward the players for the very hard work they have put into this season.
You would have to agree with him, even though the thought of drafting a potential franchise quarterback is enticing. Losing is contagious on a team. So is winning. Winning teams do not have the complaints by the players because they are winning. There is less of selfish behaviors. Any coach who told his team that they needed to lose games would lose his players. They don't like losing.
Now, do the Cardinals have a choice between winning and losing? This season has us asking that question. But with three very winnable games left on the schedule, the Cardinals could close out teh season with four straight wins and something to build on for next year. There would be the bitter taste of underachievement, but finishing strong could go a long way to keep memories of past Cardinal teams.
As for the quarterback situation, Derek Anderson passed his concussion test, but must show he is symptom-free before he can be cleared to play. When asked how DA's health would affect the decision on who would start at QB, Whiz said the team would follow the blueprint and motto they have used all year, "playing the player that gives us the best chance to win." At least for now, he believes that to be Skelton.
There was no news on the injury front, as Whiz had not yet spoken with the doctors. He did not believe that anyone would lose time because of injury unless something happens this week.