Whisenhunt: Potter’s play ‘merits moving forward’

Nov 5, 2012, 7:48 PM | Updated: 7:58 pm

With the well-chronicled difficulties at the tackle positions, fans of the Arizona Cardinals have been clamoring for one of two things: improvement or change.

In Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, they got both.

Early in the contest, head coach Ken Whisenhunt replaced starting left tackle D’Anthony Batiste with rookie seventh round draft pick Nate Potter, and the results were promising.

“He did real well, I’m very impressed with what Nate did for us (Sunday),” Whisenhunt said at his weekly press conference Monday. “I think it was a good time to make that switch with him in there and based on what I saw on the tape, it merits moving forward.”

The Cardinals’ pass protection was noticeably better than it’s been for most of this season. Arizona allowed only two sacks in 48 drop backs by quarterback John Skelton, the lowest total since they allowed just one in a Week 2 win over the New England Patriots.

Potter, a consensus All-American as a senior last year at Boise State, had the unenviable task of matching up with Green Bay defensive end Clay Matthews. But the rookie did a stellar job on the three-time Pro Bowler, holding him without a sack. Matthews eventually left the game with a hamstring injury.

“He’s worked hard on the scout team in getting his reps, he’s paid attention and he’s healthier now than he was,” Whisenhunt said. “He struggled in the preseason because of the high ankle (sprain), so it was encouraging to see that, but it was one game.”

Despite Potter’s performance and the struggles Batiste has endured at the position, Whisenhunt stopped short of announcing a permanent change at left tackle.

“We’re looking towards doing that with Nate, I think his play merited that,” he said. “That’s what this week’s about, we’re going to evaluate a lot of things.”

The Cardinals are in their bye week, with 13 days to get ready to play the undefeated Atlanta Falcons on the road in Week 11. When asked whether the bye week would stimulate other changes, Whisenhunt didn’t give an outright answer.

“I think we’re going to look at what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with,” he said. “But the one thing I want to be very clear about is, we’re not going to be afraid to make a change.

“If it gives an opportunity to get better and not stay the same, then that’s what you have to do because we’ve been inconsistent and we’re looking for more consistency. When we play consistent football, we’re a pretty good football team.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals free safety Jalen Thompson (34) celebrates his interception against the Carolina ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals ‘silent assassin’ Jalen Thompson exceeding expectations

"... He’s always kind of thirsting for knowledge since he got here," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Jalen Thompson.
1 day ago
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the second half against the Sea...
Tyler Drake

Cold weather Cards: Arizona not overly concerned with Chicago forecast

The Arizona Cardinals' first -- and potentially only -- real taste of the changing seasons comes against the Chicago Bears in Week 13.
1 day ago
Damiere Byrd #10 of the Chicago Bears warms up prior to the start of the game against the Detroit L...
Haboob Blog

Chicago Bears name 3 former Cardinals as captains for Week 13’s contest

The Chicago Bears have named three former Arizona Cardinals players as captains ahead of the Week 13 matchup between the teams.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury (left) and general manager Steve Keim (right) address ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Cardinals GM Keim on Kingsbury-Oklahoma rumors: ‘We don’t want to lose Kliff’

Kliff Kingsbury isn't the only Cardinal who GM Steve Keim has to worry about retaining following this season.
1 day ago
Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton throws during the first half of an NFL football game against ...
Arizona Sports

Bears name QB Andy Dalton starter for Week 13 matchup vs. Cardinals

With Justin Fields still progressing through a ribs injury, the Chicago Bears are turning to quarterback Andy Dalton against the Cardinals.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) kneels after the Green Bay Packers intercepted...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals-Bears injury report: Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins game-day decisions

Arizona offensive lineman Justin Pugh missed a second straight day of practice Thursday with a lingering calf injury.
1 day ago
Whisenhunt: Potter’s play ‘merits moving forward’