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Quarterback Opportunities

Cards always looking to make roster better, but Kolb, Skelton the plan


Kevin Kolb (left) and John Skelton share a laugh during a game late in the 2011 season.

INDIANAPOLIS – In the heart of Colts country, where a certain Hall-of-Fame quarterback has long played and now could be released, the Cardinals knew questions about their own quarterbacks were going to come up.

But coach Ken Whisenhunt, speaking at the Scouting combine Thursday, heard the question about whether there would be a "fair competition" between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, and was incredulous.

"Is that a trap question?" Whisenhunt said.

Of course, it would be fair, Whisenhunt said, although the quarterback questions in general these days are fraught with the potential of being a trap. The NFL world is waiting to see where Peyton Manning ends up, and the Cardinals have been one of the teams most speculated about in terms of a landing spot.

Manning is still on the Indianapolis roster, however, and his future may remain up in the air until near or at the March 8 deadline when his roster bonus comes due. That's certainly how new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made it sound Thursday.

In the meantime, many teams – including the Cards – were asked about potential quarterback moves (teams can't speak to Manning specifically because he is under contract with the Colts) and all of them said basically the same thing: Every option will be explored as it comes up.

The Cards are no different, although both Whisenhunt and Graves reiterated they are happy with their current quarterbacks and believe they can win with them.

"Right now, every day, you have to work with the information you have at hand," Graves said. "Right now, as I look at it, we fully expect Kevin will be with us and we will honor the contract. But we will see what every day brings forward and make decisions accordingly."

Whisenhunt praised the work John Skelton did down the stretch last season, and said he was excited about Kolb based on the "snapshots and times we did see him" when Kolb wasn't injured.

"I think John has earned the ability to be given consideration for the position, just because of what he did, his record and the way he played," Whisenhunt said. "But I also think we've got a lot invested in Kevin as well for that position. There is nothing wrong with competition. I think it makes both players, all players, better.

"If we can get somebody to beat Larry Fitzgerald out that guy will be a pretty good football player. There will be competition, absolutely."

Whisenhunt said that Kolb remains No. 1 on the quarterback depth chart, although the competition could change that. Other circumstances could as well.

"Everybody out there associated with our team understands this is a competitive game and we are all looking to get better," Graves said. "If those opportunities present themselves, so be it."

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