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Another Quarterback Question

Posted Nov 19, 2012

After Lindley's Atlanta appearance, Cardinals evaluating where to go at position

Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley gets some in-game advice from injured QB Kevin Kolb Sunday in Atlanta.

Ryan Lindley quickly got dressed at his locker Monday, just a few minutes before the players were due in the weekly team-wide meeting.

He quietly declined a chance to talk to the waiting media, a group waiting to get more insight on the team’s quarterback situation. The rookie, who got his first chance to play during Sunday’s loss in Atlanta, probably knew he couldn’t add much to the discussion. Clarity wasn’t at anyone’s fingertips.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt, trying to maneuver an end to the current six-game losing streak, wasn’t offering up who his starting quarterback will be against the Rams this coming weekend and said that’s because he hadn’t decided yet.

“We’ve got to sit down as a staff and look at what we’re trying to get done and make that evaluation,” Whisenhunt said. “We’re looking at a lot of things, not just the quarterback position.”

Not choosing anyone means no one can be ruled out yet. Kevin Kolb, still recovering from his ribs injury, could be an option. Whisenhunt said he expects Kolb to “work back into practice some” this week, but what that means in terms of availability is an unknown. Even when he does return, as Kolb himself has said, how well he can hold up will ultimately only be able to be determined by actually playing in a game.

John Skelton, taken out of Sunday’s game in favor of Lindley, could still be an option. Whisenhunt reiterated that Skelton’s misfire on what should have been a touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald was the turning point, in large part because the Cardinals cannot afford to miss such opportunities.

“It was not so much a function of John Skelton as it was where our team was,” Whisenhunt said. “When you say to your team you’re going to make changes if guys aren’t making plays, and you’ve done that already in a couple of spots, you’ve got to stay consistent with that message.”

Then there is Lindley, who would seem to be the leader in the clubhouse to get a start given his entrance into the game against the Falcons.

Whisenhunt said he had been impressed with Lindley during practice times, including his work on the scout team. Whisenhunt acknowledged that “statistically there’s nothing to write home about” with Lindley’s performance Sunday, but the flashes he had seen in practice make him comfortable with playing the sixth-round pick.

“The way he’s handled himself mentally, the way he’s worked physically, there’s a lot of things you like about it,” Whisenhunt said.

Lindley finished 9-for-20 for 64 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. Skelton was 2-for-7 for 6 yards. The Cardinals only managed 41 net yards passing.

As Whisenhunt continues to say, however, the quarterback isn’t the only part of the equation that will be considered for change. Asked if there could be changes forthcoming on the coaching staff in terms of duties or playcalling, Whisenhunt said it could happen.

“When you have a day like we did (Sunday), you have to (consider it),” Whisenhunt said.

The Cardinals did break a six-game losing streak last season in a home game against the Rams and are hoping they can do it again this time around.

First though, they have to find a quarterback, something they have been searching for on a permanent basis for a while now.

“That’s this business,” Whisenhunt said. “Quarterbacks are hard to find. There are a lot of teams that have been struggling with this. How long has it been since Dan Marino was in Miami? You deal with it the best way you can.”

EXTRA POINTS

Whisenhunt said running back Beanie Wells will be activated from the injured reserve-able to return list this week and Wells is expected to play Sunday against the Rams. Wells is anxious to play.

“I’ve been practicing for two weeks now, so I think I’m ready,” Wells said. “I just want to help the team win in any way possible.” …

Defensive end Calais Campbell, who missed the Atlanta game after hurting his calf during bye week work, said he expects to be able to play against the Rams barring any kind of setback.

“I’m looking forward to getting back on the field and not missing any more games,” Campbell said. “It’s tough watching. It’s not serious. We wanted to be careful with it. They looked pretty good without me.”


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