John Skelton gives Cardinals small glimpse of what could be

Nov 7, 2011, 5:37 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm

John Skelton, winner.

The Cardinals’ fifth round pick out of Fordham last year,
Skelton has started five games for the Cardinals, winning

As ESPN’s Mike
Sando notes
, that gives the QB the highest win
percentage among Cardinals QBs in the Ken Whisenhunt era.

Of course, it would be foolish to give all the credit to
Skelton, as he’s been aided by outstanding defense and
special teams in wins over some pretty lousy competition,
including Sunday against the hapless Rams. And it’s not as
if he’s been lighting the world on fire with his arm, as
he’s completed less than 50 percent of his passes and
thrown just three touchdowns in six games.

But the 6-foot-6 signal caller showed poise in his first
start of 2011, a fact that was not lost on head coach Ken

“I think that was the most important thing [Sunday],”
Whisenhunt said. “He missed a number of things.”

Whisenhunt pointed to the pair of safeties Skelton took,
but noted that young quarterbacks tend to make mistakes.
Skelton is just 23, after all, and the team’s starting
quarterback, 27-year-old Kevin Kolb, was responsible for
giving an opponent two points just a couple weeks ago.

It’s all just part of the growing process.

“He made some really good throws for us,” Whisenhunt said.
“I think that if he has to play more, he’ll even get
better with more time.”

Skelton probably will, and it’s worth wondering how high
his ceiling is. Because with his size and mobility
(Skelton rushed for 38 yards) along with his willingness
to stay in the pocket and step up when necessary, it would
appear the Cardinals have something to work with at the QB

If nothing else, the team has confidence with Skelton
under center.

“That guy is really confident in the huddle,” said Andre
Roberts, who resurfaced Sunday for five catches and 55
yards. “He is a leader. Whenever we put him in the
situation, he gets it done.”

All that said, there is no chance Skelton will supplant
Kevin Kolb as the team’s starter. No, Kolb is the guy this
year, especially considering the investment the team made
in him and the fact that it would be premature to toss him
aside after just seven starts.

Besides, even while earning the win Skelton was
inconsistent, completing 20 of 35 passes for 222 yards and
one score against the Rams. He made some poor throws but,
conversely, made some passes that made you go “wow.” That
includes the fourth quarter touchdown strike to Larry

“Just peaks and valleys I think,” Skelton said when asked
to rate his performance. “We had some positive drives that
we didn’t finish.”

That’s going to happen with a quarterback making just his
fifth career start, and the running game – other than what
Skelton provided – was virtually non-existent Sunday.

But that didn’t matter in the end, because the Cardinals
got the win and the fans got to see another QB run the
show. Was he great? No. Was he bad? No. Was he good enough
to make the Cardinals reassess what they have at that


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