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No Timetable For Quarterback

Posted Aug 14, 2012

Notebook: Competition still a process; Batiste to start at tackle; Oakland game sells out

John Skelton got the start at quarterback in Kansas City, so it is Kevin Kolb's turn to start this week when the Raiders visit Arizona.

FLAGSTAFF – Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was told about the ESPN report claiming John Skelton is the favorite to win the Cardinals’ quarterback job, but added he was “not familiar” with it.

Kevin Kolb will start Friday night against the Raiders, Skelton is slated to start in Tennessee next week, and Whisenhunt said there is no timetable with which he’s using to reach the quarterback decision.

“As far as favorites and long shots we’ve never really thought about it in those terms,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ve said all along it’s a process. Everyone wants instant evaluation, but we just don’t think in those terms.”

Whisenhunt said he is using practice and games, as well as overall evaluation, to make the decision, which he said will boil down to the player who best gives the Cards the chance to win.

“All of it goes together,” Whisenhunt said. “The game part is important, but I don’t pay attention to the stats as much. A lot of times when we look at the film, there are reasons for a pass being incomplete or the pocket breaking down. Production is important don’t get me wrong. But the preseason is about finding out who handles it the best.”

He also said the Cards aren’t sitting back and making tallies on a daily basis for or against either guy.

“If you did that, you’d change your evaluation every day,” Whisenhunt said. “You can’t get wrapped up in a guy having a bad practice or a good practice. There are a number of different challenges you face.”

BATISTE GETS SHOT AT RIGHT TACKLE

D’Anthony Batiste showed up with the first team at right tackle Monday, and Tuesday Whisenhunt said Batiste will get the start there against Oakland Friday after replacing Jeremy Bridges.

Bridges is running at second team right guard. Rookie Bobby Massie continues to be the backup right tackle.

Whisenhunt said Batiste did a good job as a fill-in guard last season in Minnesota, and after some hard work in the offseason, he was given the nod to start.

“We’ve talked about working him in and giving him an opportunity at that position,” Whisenhunt said. “He played really well against Kansas City the other night. As part of this process of trying to get the best players, we are going to see how he does this week playing in the game as the starter. That’s what competition is all about.”

POWELL AS WARRIOR

The last nine-yard catch meant a lot to fifth-string running back William Powell. Added to the 92 yards rushing he put up against the Chiefs Friday – buoyed by a 67-yard scamper to set up his own three-yard TD run – it put him over 100 yards on the night.

“It means a lot for me to go out and produce and look good,” Powell said. “I felt great. Coming into the season, my intention was to focus on producing the best I could on every play. It meant a lot to do as well as I did.”

Whisenhunt called Powell a “warrior.” It’s hard to think otherwise. When the Cards have leaned on him in a pair of preseasons, he’s been there. Last year, with the team not wanting to risk Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling in the preseason finale (Ryan Williams was already done for the season), Alfonso Smith hurt a hamstring. So Powell collecting an amazing 29 preseason carries in the game, six more than he had in his entire college career.

Powell is a long shot to make the team, but he refuses to look negatively on his situation. Whisenhunt notices.

“He’s one of those kinds of guys that when I talk about all the mistakes that we’ve made when guys get their opportunities, he’s kind of the anti-that,” Whisenhunt said. “When he’s had his chances, he’s done a good job for us.”

ANOTHER SELLOUT

The Cardinals have officially sold out Friday night'spreseason home opener against the Raiders, meaning the game will be shown live locally on ABC 15. It is the 64th consecutive sellout at University of Phoenix Stadium.


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