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Ken Whisenhunt explains decision not to bring in John Skelton vs. Jets

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The Cardinals head coach considered making a change mid-game, but opted to stick with his rookie quarterback against a scheming Jets defense.


During his Monday morning press conference, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt explained his decision to keep John Skelton on the bench during the team's 7-6 loss to the New York Jets last Sunday.

Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley got the starting nod and struggled mightily, completing 10-of-31 passes for 72 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. Despite the 23-year-old's lack of production, Whisenhunt kept him under center for the entire game and left Skelton on the sideline. The Cardinals only mustered six points on two field goals by Jay Feely.

Whisenhunt said that the team considered making a change, but feared that changing quarterbacks against a scheming Jets defense could have done more harm than good.

"We talked about it during the course of the game," Whisenhunt said. "But when you're playing a defense like that, that's giving you a number of different looks, and how it's being communicated at the point that you have to make that change, you have to understand is it because the guy in there is not playing well? Because you're going to lose a lot of what you've gone through in the first parts of the game as far as understanding the protections and where their sights are and what the checks are."

With the loss to the Jets, the Cardinals might have lost their best chance at ending their eight-game losing streak as they close out the season with games against the Seattle Seahawks (7-5), Detroit Lions (4-8), Chicago Bears (8-4) and the NFC West leading San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1).