A few words with Whiz

Posted by Darren Urban on November 7, 2011 – 11:50 am

The players were officially given today off after their win Monday, although all that really means is no media access; many are downstairs in the locker room getting treatment or lifting weights or, as I just glimpsed walking to my desk, meeting with coaches like Adrian Wilson is doing with defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi.

So that leaves us with coach Ken Whisenhunt’s press conference. Some of the tid and bits from the 20 minutes just now:

— Asked about Kevin Kolb’s health, Whisenhunt said he just couldn’t know this early in the week what his status will be for Sunday. When it was noted that Kolb certainly will want to play in Philadelphia against his old team, Whisenhunt said “sure he will.” Whiz admitted he was going cliche, but he has to see how Kolb progresses with the turf toe.

— CB Michael Adams is OK. Whiz said he was riding the bike downstairs and I saw him sitting in the training room texting or doing something on his phone. It was a scary moment, and he will undergo neurological testing just in case, although it was the neck area that had been the concern and the reason for the extra precaution.

— More on this later, but Whiz said he thinks the penalty issues with Patrick Peterson will be helped if he focuses on consistently using the right technique.

— The run game issues were a combination of blocking/play problems, the Rams using eight and nine in the box because of an inexperience QB (and daring John Skelton to beat them) and also Beanie Wells’ knee, Whiz said. Would it help to rest Beanie a week? “There were plays to be made early in the run game we didn’t make,” Whisenhunt said, adding “I think there are a lot of players in the league that are dealing with things that are nagging through eight weeks. That’s what the NFL is. Beanie wants to play, and if Beanie can run and protect himself and make his cuts, Beanie should play, because he has played at a high level for us.”

— Finally, just to throw some gas on the fire in this whole QB debate, I asked Whiz about the philosophy of “If the quarterback wins, that’s all that matters.” Here were his thoughts on how to judge a QB: “There are a lot of factors, whether it is third downs or red zone or efficiency in operating your offense, whether it is checks (at the line). The criteria for judging quarterbacks is obviously something that a lot of people talk about. That’s why they have quarterback ratings.

“If you are able to win games, no question (that’s important). But you also have to be able to manage your offense, and be able to convert third downs, to understand the red zone and get touchdowns instead of field goals. All those things go into evaluating quarterbacks.”

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44 Responses to “A few words with Whiz”

  1. By carlo7000 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    ok yesterday skelton did a couple of misteakes but he was also able to put an impressive drive with great throws and run..we should praise him fro what he did,,rams is not abda ddefense and the last week they made drew brees look very bad…he 23 ,4 years a younger the kolb but i see much more upside on him the you think coach whis regret about spending so much for kolb…i think andy reid after football will have great succes with poker cause he is very able to bluff

  2. By Procen on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    I guess the factors Whiz judge his QB doesn’t fit with Kolb because all the above mentioned Kolb could not do. This is my thoughts! What is your thoughts, Darren?

  3. By Darren Urban on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Procen —

    RE: Kolb vs Skelton thoughts

  4. By DW #! FAN on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    I love Jon Skelton. I never wantd Kolb and miss DRC. My handle on this was DRC #1 Fan, obviously I had to change that. We always draft well in the 2nd round and are goin gto miss that pick for a QB who is barely better than what we have and no better than what we gave away with Matt Lienart. That being said. I was at the game sunday and just did not see Jon get enough done to outplay Kevin for starting QB. Although, it was nice to see passes to wide recievers and not tight ends every play. Jon also got the ball past the line of scrimmage more often than Kolb and his tipped passes every frikkin play. But, it was a lot of the same issues, Jon did have a tipped ball or two, he was running for his life and he recieved a sack in the end zone as well as Kevin’s infamous penalty play of throwing the ball to no one in particular just to escape pressure. I reall believe in our offensive line which makes me different than most fans. I see it as more of a lack of respect for our run game and an inability of our recievers to read the plays. Andre Roberts is a joke and should not be in the NFL. We could us Terrel Owens if you ask me. hahah. that is how little I believe in our 2nd reciever position, or bring back Stephen Williams!

    Darren, is Stephen Williams injured or just not on the team? I am curious?

  5. By Darren Urban on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    DW —

    RE: Stephen Williams

    He is on the team. He is not injured.

  6. By joe67 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    If he is able, let Kevin play against the Eagles. It just makes good sense.

  7. By jstn on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Cardinals have no good QB’s right now. Thats not to say eventially Kolb or Skelton makes it, those are 2 young QB’s that need time and NFL experience that DO have talent at the position and is very exciting to see the evolution in the next few seasons (reality). I would have to say that Skelton is who i would like in as QB for the cards future but with Kolbs BIG contract that probably wont happen, still i hope the best for Kolb i like him also. I just think Skelton is the whole package and with traing and hard work he will be a TOP QB in the years to come.
    Pleae Offense Line, Step up and dont get handled all the time, take some pride in your wall of protection or the bulldozer push forward, i believe u guys can, i beleive u coaches can as well get these guys in the right form. Please O-line you all are the KEY to winning the rest of the year….

  8. By Kurt on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    It was refreshing to see Skelton standing tall in the pocket and not getting happy feet. Hopefully Kolb will take note.

  9. By MattAZ on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Good to hear Mike A. Is OK, he’s a tough little guy.

  10. By Paul H on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Shout out to Chester Taylor for hustle play recovering Early’s fumble. Turned out to be the difference. Things like that win games. Now that he has learned the play book a little more, I would like to see more of him in relief of Beanie.

  11. By Chuck 1 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    The Cards have won TWO games!!! (thanks to Peterson)
    The outburst by the offense was sensational.
    I’ll have to up my win total to (maybe) four.

  12. By Sarah on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    I think the Cards should develop both Kolb and Skelton as a one two punch. We are stuck with Kolb at great expense so let’s see what he’s got, so far it has not been that impressive. Skelton is raw and offers huge upside if we can develop him ! If Kolb loses the Philly game and is not impressive then I think we should develop Skelton and let the two compete next year.

  13. By MIKE G on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–I know Heap was activated for the game but did not play. Is his injury more serious than initially thought??? I certainly thought he would of played yesterday!

  14. By Darren Urban on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Heap

    Turns out the game summary was wrong. Heap did play a little bit.

  15. By rojobird on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    OH YEAH BABY WE GOT A WIN!!!!!!! THANKS PP FOR BOTH OF THE CARDS WINS….(and the rest of the teams nice work…) me personally I would have like to have seen Skelton have the ball and see if he could had a winning drive to earn this “W”… Darren what do you think .. Do you think Skelton had it in him to win this Game?

  16. By Darren Urban on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    rojobird —

    RE: Skelton in OT

    Would have been interesting for sure.

  17. By rojobird on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Forgot to mention I would have liked to see this cuzz we all know Kolb chokes in close games… and well it would have been nice to prove the Kolb lovers that Skelton is good if not better than Kolb…. just sayin LOVE MY CARDS GOD BLESS YOU… AND THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK… 🙂

  18. By Andreas on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Darren –

    How do you see Skelton moving forward from here? Lets say he goes against Eagles and wins the game with great offensive play. Would that leave Kolb out in the cold or? Is it too early to answer that.

    Also, did we consider picking up Blackmon in next years draft? He’s a Megatron type of player and would bring a lot of the things missing in our offense and not leave Fitz being double covered.

  19. By Darren Urban on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Andreas —

    RE: Questions

    1) Lot of hypotheticals there. Let’s see it happen first.
    2) Have no idea where they might look at in the draft. Depends on where they are picking, and who is picking in front of them.

  20. By Mike Ellingboe on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply


    Not something I was wanting to see, and probably part of the reason Peterson had the green light to field a punt at the one-yard line. However, to his credit the TD drive to tie the game was encouraging enough (for now).

  21. By Mike Ellingboe on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply


    Can’t even enjoy a victory?

    Looks like your boy Carnell Lake had some growing pains of his own the other night.

  22. By Scott H on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    First, nice to feel a win again. While beating the Rams in OT just to improve to 2-6 is NOT where most of us thought we would be at this point, it’s always better puuting your head on the pillow at night when your team wins. AND I hope the players were able to feel that, too. Most of my ire these days is for the coaches and front office. But I’m sure the players work hard and I hope they had a reason to smile yesterday.

    Great game for the special teams!!! This one belongs to them. And there ain’t nothing wrong with that. It shouldn’t be on the QB every week to win the game and the QB has been taking too much of the blame so far. Even with the best teams, sometimes you need the defense or special teams to win one for you. I’ve been wanting to see that and, well….there it was!

    And now….I guess the clamoring for Skelton will be getting louder. And I’m not so sure that is out of line right now. And I have not an ounce of sympathy for Whiz because he brought this on himself. The way Kolb has played has just put a huge spotlight on the fact that we didn’t let Skelton play and define himself last year. This is a QB controversy in the mking any maybe it didn’t have to come to this. But one more loss with Kolb and / or win with Skelton….and it’s on.

  23. By azred21 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren what are the chances that John Skelton starts next week?

  24. By Darren Urban on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    azred21 —

    RE: Skelton start

    I am pretty sure I addressed that above. If Kolb can play, he will play. No way to know right now.

  25. By cardsalltheway on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    If Kolb plays Sunday he will be a sitting duck, we’ll eventually see Skelton again if Ken W. keeps sticking Kolb out there. Also, play Richard Bartel before Kolb.

  26. By steve on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    You know –all that really matters in any sport is what???? WINNING.. You can say what you wanna say, about the reasons to play this guy or that guy –but when it’s all said and done its the ‘W’ that matters… So that being said –don’t you think Whisenhunts and Graves job’s are on the line here? If they end up 2-14 whats to say they both don’t get fired ‘TRYING’ to see what they have in Kolb… Yes I understand it’s all a business, but to play an under producing quarterback just to see ‘what they got’ can legitimately not give them another year BECAUSE ownership might feel they blew it on this Kolb guy!!!!… I as a fan see alot more promise in Skelton than Kolb, he stands tall and confident in the pocket unlike Kolb who ‘tap dances’.. His throws seem much more accurate and have better touch — he appears physically bigger and stronger, mobility seems better… I was hoping in the off season they would pick up a Hasselback or Orton and let Skelton sit for 2 years and learn…. in retrospect I bet you Whiz and Graves wish they would have…..

  27. By horned frog on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    For the record I’d like to say I said this would happen on this site last week. It’s unbelievable the bias people have. No objectivity. I’m not saying hate on Skelton, I’m just saying people are conveniently willing to rationalize Skelton’s youth, where he came from, and how many starts he has, overlooking production and other undeniable facts.

    The facts are: yes, he came from a small school. Who cares. He was drafted well above a priority free agent so somebody thought he was plenty good enough to bestow expectations upon and produce at this level. It’s okay to criticize Skelton.

    He’s been in this system, 5 starts against below average teams and still can’t hit 60% in a game. I believe thats the bare minimum.

    His third down efficiency is equally as bad. 20% yesterday. Hard to win consistently doing that.

    He dang near threw four INTS yesterday. lucky.

    Okay, He gets credit with the win, but even a broke clock is right twice a day. If he consistently had to play the cards would be in trouble. Sure he would have the chance to improve, but so to defenses when they start to see obvious deficiencies in your game week after week.

    I like both QB’s, just be real.

  28. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Ugly win and without improvement don’t see how they can pull it off in Philly.
    Haven’t checked the stats, but where was Stewart Bradley, Chester Taylor, Alonso Smith, Rashad Johnson, Allace Schofeld among others?

    Very nondescript victory, but better than the alternative.

  29. By az1965 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    Re: “Here were his thoughts on how to judge a QB: “There are a lot of factors, whether it is third downs or red zone or efficiency in operating your offense, whether it is checks (at the line). The criteria for judging quarterbacks is obviously something that a lot of people talk about. That’s why they have quarterback ratings.

    “If you are able to win games, no question (that’s important). But you also have to be able to manage your offense, and be able to convert third downs, to understand the red zone and get touchdowns instead of field goals. All those things go into evaluating quarterbacks.”

    Hmm… So, this clearly implies that Kolb should NEVER, EVER see the field again:
    1. 3rd down conversions – fail
    2. Red zone efficiency – fail
    3. Checks at the line – fail (the only thing he checks are pass rushers and runs scared)

    and there’s more…

    4. Pocket presence – fail
    5. Foot work – fail
    6. Mechanics – fail (see Theisman’s pretty good analysis at of how poor Kolb’s mechanics are)
    7. Vision – fail (locks down on receivers)

    What a huge and expansive mess Cardinals organization made… Graves should definitely be fired for it. Perhaps the coaches as well. I don’t have any confidence in Kolb or that he will improve. Not saying Skelton is the QB, he is still too raw, but he certainly shows much better poise, pocket presence, and foot work.

  30. By BIG RED on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStandsUp and Horned Frog there are 31 teams out there that you can pick. If you can’t say something good about our Cardinals after a victory, then just get the …. out of here. People like you make me sick more then losing a game.

  31. By Chuck 1 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    @Mike Ellingboe

    Carnell Lake is not “my boy”. Nor are the Steelers my team. The Cards are the team that I root for.

    My only point in posting the article by a Pittsburgh writer was to note that, Carnell Lake has turned the Steeler secondary into #1 in the NFL, an improvement over the former DB coach, who is our current DC. Many Cards fans (and opposing teams) have found our secondary and defense wanting.

    Regarding the Ravens comeback win over the Steelers, every group of players on every team e.g. the Patriots vs the Giants, whether it be the OL, LBs, secondary etc. have bad series and games. Flacco was sensational in picking apart the Steeler secondary in the game-winning drive. I was pleased that the Ravens beat my FORMER favorite team.

    Regarding my sarcasm in the Cards win, I’m not satisfied with two wins in eight games. Nor should other fans be satisfied with that record. Without PP, the team is winless.

  32. By Chuck 1 on Nov 7, 2011 | Reply

    For those fans who blame Whiz for trading for Kolb, I would think that he had a strong input to Rod Graves to make the trade. However, Graves is the one that “pulls the trigger” and is ultimately responsible. (At least I would hope that the GM would make that final decision).

    On another subject, the Cards need a new QB coach and OC. It’s obvious that the QB coach isn’t improving Kolb’s mechanics and the play calling leaves much to be desired.

    If Whiz doesn’t relieve them after this season (as he did with the previous two DCs), he’ll have no one to blame when next season’s results aren’t much better than this season.

  33. By Austin on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    BIG RED,
    I couldn’t agree more. GO CARDS!!!

  34. By Mike Ellingboe on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    @Chuck 1,

    Relax, just trying to have some fun with you. It’s usually my luck that when I post something positive about someone the following week they get blown off the field at a key moment. With that in mind, keep the praise for Pitt coming…

    2 wins at this point in the season doesn’t excite me either, but there’s nothing wrong with enjoying them when they do come along.

  35. By Mike Ellingboe on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    @az1965 (and many others),

    Giving up on Kolb pretty quickly, aren’t you? He ran the West Coast offense in Philadelphia, and there was a lot of concern about how he’d transition to Whisenhunt’s offense. Let’s give him more than a half a season before labeling him a failure across the board. Once he understands the offense better, the mechanics will fall back into place. If he didn’t mention it, Theismann should know better than anybody that uncertainty in an offense, especially with the deep drops we require, will make anyone look crossed up.

  36. By Mike in Mesa on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Can someone tell me how many times Skelton ran backwards 20 yards and threw it out of bounds? As compared to Kolb? Skelton has much better pocket presence. And if some of our receivers including Fitzgerald can quit dropping passes hitting them right on the numbers his completion rate will go up. As to the 2 safeties, is it normal to call pass plays when your in your own endzone? Or should you be running it out to get breathing room. And didn’t Kolb make the same mistake a week before? Or are those plays on the coaches? I suspect the latter.

  37. By Sarah on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Curious, If the Cards were to drop Kolb at the end of the season what would it cost ? I know he is due a bonus in January but beyond that, what is the structure of his contract , can the Cards restructure it ? He got a big signing bonus upfront i wonder about the rest.

  38. By Darren Urban on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Sarah —

    RE: Kolb deal

    They could do that. I doubt they will, at least at this point.

  39. By dieselbomb on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    I say we turn to Skelton, keep Kolb and re-negotiate the $63-million to a more respectable amount. I think given the same amount of time and effort with the first team in practice and regulation play, that Skelton could be found to out-perform Kolb. Kolb has upside, but not as much as was first anticipated. Please note the downward trend in QB statistics with Kolb. Half a season is a reasonable period of time to see a new QB adjust to a new team. You’d think that the change would be gradually improving numbers – but no. We’re getting more of Kolb running away rather than scrambling for yards, we’re seeing mis-reads to outlet passes, we’re seeing throwing ‘behind’ receivers, we’re seeing bad QB mechanics as he abandons QB disciplines . He’s put up some impressive long plays (Doucet 70+ yards, Fitz 60+ and 70+ yards) so he’s not a total failure. But we need more heads-up play. Give the ball to Skelton and Bartel to get what we can out of this season; but still, don’t fully abandon Kolb. Just make better use of existing talent. Don’t keep pressing to make Kolb feel better … instead, press to make the best of the team.

  40. By cardfancolorado on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply


  41. By We Missed Q on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa, I don’t know about you, but I saw Skelton throw 3 balls right into the hands of the Rams, we are just lucky they were dropped. He also PERSONALLY gave them 4 points when he gave them 2 safeties on simply stupid plays. Skelton was OK, but there is a reason 32 teams in the league thought he was nothing more than a 5th rounder, or worth anything since no one has tried to trade for him either.

  42. By nkd on Nov 9, 2011 | Reply

    Id take skeltons “3 almost picks” to kolbs 3 picks a game anyday. And if u go watch the game again, every drive in the first half ended by a dropped pass or the run being stopped. Skelton actually played a great game if u go back and break down the plays.

  43. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    @ BIG RED
    IMO, the Cards were fairly fortunate to win the game. Statistically and by my vision, they were outplayed.
    Just because I was underwhelmed by the performance and the season, doesn’t make me less of a fan. As I posted before, I take every game to heart and despite the victory, I have to look at the season so far, I just can’t project a win in Philly next week.

    And I guess you’ll be throwing up humble pie for a while, because God and Darren willing,(notice how you never see both in the same room together, hmmm?) I’ll be posting for a while.

  44. By bluepitt on Nov 8, 2011 | Reply

    Great to have a Win… That being said!!!

    ” officially given today off after their win Monday” Are you kiddddding me?
    (didnt they play on sunday) Thes guys dont deserve a “Day Off”
    they got les hitting in the new CBA….
    Win more than 1 every 6 games and you get your “Day Off”
    This is what im talking about Darren!
    We need all the days we can get to get right with the D skeeeems and O what ever it is!!!!!!!

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