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Cardinals QB questions? Ask the QB coach

Is John McNulty aiming to reinvent the position of
quarterback coach in the NFL? Uh, no.

“I saw Donovan McNabb taking drops in the ocean waist-deep
in Miami with a quarterback guru, you’d have to explain to
me what that was,” McNulty smiled.

You mean the Cardinals new QB coach hasn’t concocted a
bunch of innovative drills that we’ve never seen before?
Uh, no again. McNulty is more interested in refining his
quarterbacks, instead of redefining the art of coaching

“We try to keep it as game-specific as possible and see if
that helps ‘em,” McNulty said about his OTA regimen. “How
they would have to move in the pocket, how they would have
to react to things, and how their feet would have to

Which is to say, there has been more emphasis on footwork
this offseason than “Dancing With the Stars”. Except,
anything but glamorous. In fact, during our sit-down
interview, I asked McNulty why he even pursued the switch
from coaching receivers (where Larry Fitzgerald makes
everyone Mirror Ball-worthy), to the challenge that
(still) comes with replacing Kurt Warner?

“I think everyone has been frustrated the last couple
years with the production or just the general play at that
position. And no more frustrated than us who have to put
our living on it,” McNulty said. “So, I just figured
that, well, you can complain about it…or you can try and
do something about it.”

So, between his firsthand knowledge of the Cards offense
and the quarterbacks currently on the roster, along with
the fact
that he’s coached the position before, McNulty stated his
case to Coach Whisenhunt. Done. You’re hired. And your
assignment starting with OTA’s – solve the inconsistency
at QB.

“The only time to do that is in the offseason,” McNulty
said about returning to fundamentals. “If you understand
why and you can talk about it every day, you almost have
to hypnotize the guys with ‘this is why, this is why’ then
when it sinks in, it becomes habit and those things are
easier to do.”

Hey, if people can use hypnosis to quit smoking, then why
not other bad habits, right? That said, let’s name names
and objectives. If Kevin Kolb has one priority here in

“I think it’s just getting settled and trusting the
progression of the play. Just run the play. You don’t
have to make anything spectacular happen. You just have
to operate the play the way it’s meant to be operated,”
McNulty explained. “If you truly can work your feet
through the operation of the play and make it work for
you, we should be good.”

And since John Skelton is getting equal snaps with the
first team, what’s atop his To-Do List?

“With John, it’s just making sure you understand exactly
where everybody is going to be as you operate the play and
get your feet to your throw,” McNulty said. “He’s so tall
and can stand so big in the pocket…and is able to get the
ball there without even having to take his feet there.
But the accuracy suffers when you do that.”

How accurately are the Cardinals coaches tracking the QB
competition? Put it this way, it’s not just being
recorded down to the incompletion, but the nature of the
incompletion (drop, wrong route, incorrect read,
inaccurate throw, etc.) But for all the hard data and
number crunching, it still comes down to your eyes and
your gut. What you see and what you sense.

“I think you just know. At some point, you just know who
can handle all the information, who can operate the team,
who the team believes in,” McNulty said. “At some point,
we’ll know and when we do for sure, it’ll be all in on
that guy.”