Whisenhunt tabs John Skelton as Arizona Cardinals starting QB
John Skelton will start at quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals' season opener a week from Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt made the official announcement Friday afternoon.
"Looking at a lot of different factors, and I'm not going to get into the specifics of everything that was involved, but it's fair to say that at this point going forward we feel like the quarterback that gives us the best chance to win right now is John Skelton," Whisenhunt said.
The quarterback competition between Kevin Kolb and Skelton has been one of the most-talked-about in the entire National Football League. But it'll be Skelton, who threw for 131 yards and one touchdown against two interceptions in the preseason, who will guide the offense in the opener.
In Kolb's absence last season, Skelton led the Cardinals to a 5-2 record as the starter. His success in 2011 may have helped him lock up the job this season.
Whisenhunt said Skelton, a fifth-round pick out of Fordham in 2010, has made considerable progress as a professional.
"This truly the first offseason he's had to work," the coach said. "He's a guy that's believed in himself and at times he's shown he can make plays; at times he's looked like a young quarterback."
The decision came as a bit of a surprise, as many felt the team's financial obligation to Kolb would give the former Eagle an edge in the competition. The newly-named backup was understandably disappointed with the coach's decision.
"He handled it like a pro, which he is, but I don't think anybody likes to hear that news," Whisenhunt said.
Kolb completed 22-of-37 passes for 203 yards in four preseason games, and his quarterback rating (49.7) was slightly lower than Skelton's (50.6), and while he won't be the starter Week 1, Whisenhunt said it's understood that there's a good chance he'll be called on at some point this season.
"I think you know that the days of making it through an NFL season with one quarterback certainly don't happen as frequently maybe as they did at one time," Whisenhunt said. "He's aware of that; he knows what the expectations are for him.
"I expect him to be ready."
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