Am I shocked? Am I surprised?
I am happy.
I’m happy the Cardinals went with John Skelton as their starting quarterback. His selection feels right and natural. Comfortable. He never grabbed the job as forcefully as we would’ve liked, but between his arm strength, pocket poise and size it seems to me he gives the Cardinals more of a chance to reach their potential, wherever that may end up being. Up until the Titans game he was the clear leader in this race and had to deal with the most difficult handicap of the preseason: D.J. Young at left tackle. Between his shaky play and the dropped passes, it made a proper evaluation of Skelton nearly impossible. I have to think that collectively the locker room nods in approval at this choice.
Had Kolb been named the starter, it would have felt forced. A choice of circumstance rather than competition. No doubt he had his moments in that Titans game, but his lows are so low (the sacks, the unexplainable picks) that it felt he would end up doing you more harm than good. Skelton plays the position with a projection of calmness. Kolb, chaos.
It goes without saying we’ll probably see Kolb at some point this season, and I’d even bet a mortgage payment Ryan Lindley shows up in a game or two in 2012.
It was a brave pick for Whisenhunt. Right on cue, moments after the announcement, the tweets from NFL writers began filling the timeline. About how the Kolb trade was a disaster. The worst ever. The fact that he chose Skelton over Kolb indicates he respects the locker room and the notion of competition more than avoiding the inevitable criticism.
But make no mistake, just because Whisenhunt made the right choice on Friday doesn’t mean he won’t have to answer for the wrong choice that was made a year ago. How exactly he’ll have to answer for it is a conversation for another day and is likely tied to the results of 2012. The re-signing of Larry Fitzgerald and the lack of QB options from last summer have to be factored into that evaluation.
For now, the coach got it right and that’s all that matters.