Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said the move to replace John Skelton with Ryan Lindley Sunday should not have come as much of a surprise.
After all, it was part of the idea that changes would be made if the coach deemed them necessary.
“In looking at where we were, as a team, and we said this going into the bye week that we were going to play guys in spots that we thought gave us a chance to win, and that’s what we did,” Whisenhunt said at his Monday press conference in Tempe. “We wanted to see if [Lindley] would give us a chance to make some of those plays because we had missed some plays earlier in the game.”
Whisenhunt was particularly miffed at Skelton’s inability to hit a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald for what would have been a touchdown late in the first quarter. The Cardinals ended up settling for a field goal, and the four-point swing proved to be the difference in the game.
The sixth-round pick out of San Diego State handled himself well Sunday, according to Whisenhunt, even though his stats (9-of-20 for 64 yards) were not exactly impressive.
“He did a nice job I thought in a lot of areas,” he said, “managing the game, handling the noise, doing some of the things that you need to do with protection.
“He looked comfortable in the pocket, made some good throws.”
Good enough to keep the job? Not exactly.
Whisenhunt said Kevin Kolb is expected to practice some this week, but how much he does depends “on how he handles it physically.” And with him nearing a return and Skelton still around, the coach said there is no need to proclaim anyone — including Lindley — the starter as his team prepares for the St. Louis Rams.
“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, adding that he just finished watching film from Sunday’s game.
“We’re going to do what we think gives us the best chance to win going forward, and that’s not something that we have to make the decision right now.”