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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jul 30, 2012 - 10:02 pm

QB battles are won in games, not practice

QB battles/controversies/competitions aren’t like this
one. Kolb versus Skelton isn’t a normal quarterback
battle.

Listen to the comments of Coach Whisenhunt. Media: When
would you like to see this battle resolved? CKW: Two
years ago.

Thursday, Coach Whisenhunt opened his press conference
without needing any questions from the media:

“There’s been no decision on who will be the starting
quarterback.”

It was Day 2 of camp.

Usually coaches become antagonistic with the media. The
weight of a decision which will probably determine the
success or failure of the season — and possibly a career
— is displaced onto the feeding reporters. The media
relations department will start to limit availability.
Players begin to choose sides and leak their opinions to
the media. Fans begin hearing stories of lacking a
presence in the huddle. After four weeks of drama, a
quarterback is named.

The 2012 Arizona quarterback battle will not be determined
by drama. Coach Whisenhunt has complete confidence in the
process determining a QB for him that he gives no sign of
stress over the decision itself.

Kolb enters camp as a cerebral quarterback, but needs to
prove his toughness. His physical toughness is in question
because he’s been handed two starting quarterback jobs by
two different franchises and failed to secure either due
to injury and being outplayed by the backup. Kolb must
prove he has the mental toughness to go through his
progressions with no fear of the pressure being applied by
the defense.

Skelton has the magic. The poise to stand in the pocket
and deliver the ball with complete blinders to pressure is
Skelton’s forte. The no-fear ability to bring the team
back from any deficit is not Skelton’s problem. The
problem is the fact Skelton continually has to bring the
team back in the fourth quarter because his decisions led
to a scoreboard deficit in the first place. Skelton must
learn to read the coverage, trust the play and its
progressions, allowing the defense to determine where the
ball should go.

These two weaknesses must be fixed for one of the QBs to
come out victorious in battle. The only true place for
Skelton and Kolb to be judged is by preseason game
production. I’m not referring to the stats or outcome of
the preseason game. It’s about intense film study with
knowledge of the play called, assessment of how well
everyone else did their job and, finally, answering two
questions: did the ball go where it was supposed to when
it was supposed to?

Ken Whisenhunt is stress free because he completely
believes someone will win this quarterback job. Either
Kolb actually having an offseason to learn the offense
will allow him to relax in the pocket and deliver the ball
on time, or Skelton will learn to take care of the ball
through three quarters to save the magic for when it’s
needed.

Flagstaff, Arizona, will have little to do with who
becomes the next starting quarterback of the Arizona
Cardinals. The Flagstaff position battles are at CB, RB,
WR, TE and special teams. For the QBs, training camp is
more like a glorified high school quarterback camp.

The brochure came in the mail for “your son” to be taught
by NFL coaches in beautiful Northern Arizona. Both Mr.
and Mrs. Kolb and Mr. and Mrs. Skelton signed their sons
up for the camp to become better football players for the
chance to earn a scholarship. This is all just a warmup
here for three exams. The first exam will be a lab with
Romeo Crennel as professor in Missouri. Mid-terms will be
in Glendale with Mr. Raider, while we have a special Grand
Ole Opry-style final in Tennessee with Jerry Gray as the
lead instructor who learned defense from a disgraced
former defensive professor who has been forced out of
football.

The decision on who will be the next starting quarterback
for the Arizona Cardinals will be made in an office in
Tempe after watching the lab work in Kansas City, Glendale
and Nashville. Coach Whisenhunt is very relaxed right now
because Flagstaff simply represents study hall.

The most important month in the entire professional career
of Kevin Kolb and John Skelton starts Wednesday, with
exams soon to follow.

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