What’s going on with the Quarterback Carousel in Arizona?

Kurt Warner Cardinals QuarterbackWhat was coach Ken Whisenhunt thinking after the 2009 Arizona Cardinals football season ended.  His starting quarterback, who led them to the playoffs two years in a row, and a Superbowl appearance, had announced his retirement on January 29, 2010.  Kurt Warner, at 38 years old would no longer be the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.  Who were the Cardinals left with to lead their team?

They had former Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, who had been waiting in the wings for his opportunity to become a starter for four years.  Obviously, coach Whisenhunt didn’t have much confidence in Leinart as a starter, so he went out and signed Derek Anderson on March 17, 2010 to compete for the starting position.  Things did not go well for Leinart, and he was eventually released on September 4, 2010, just before the start of the regular season.  So in a little over a 7 month span, the Cardinals lost their starting quarterback (over the last 5 years), as well as their number two quarterback (over the last 4 years).

Derek Anderson, Matt Leinart, Cardinals QuarterbacksCoach Whisenhunt has been the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals since 2007.  Did he not have enough foresight to know that Kurt Warner was nearing retirement after the 2008 season?  Did he not know after working with Leinart for 3 years, that Leinart would not be the predecessor to Warner?  It seemed somewhat like a move of desperation when Whisenhunt signed Anderson just before the spring of 2010.  It didn’t look like coach Whisenhunt had a real plan moving forward, and now it looks even worse as the 2010 season progresses!

The Arizona Cardinals are left with Derek Anderson, Max Hall, and John Skelton.  Derek Anderson is a 6 year veteran of the NFL, who had one good season with the Cleveland Browns in 2007.  If you take that year out of his career stats, he has thrown 21 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.  His completion percentage is 50.0%, and he averages just over 142 passing yards per game.  Max Hall is an undrafted free agent who is severly undersized for his position, and the NFL game seems to be completely over his head at this point in his career.  In five games, his completion percentage is 50.7%, and he has averaged 72 passing yards per game.  He has thrown 1 touchdown and 5 interceptions.  John Skelton is another rookie who was drafted by the Cardinals in the 5th round, as the 155th overall pick in the 2010 draft.  He played his entire college career at Fordham, in the Atlantic 10 Conference.  Although they are a NCAA Division 1 school, Fordham is not known for supplying the NFL with quality players, let alone NFL quarterbacks.  Skelton is the first quarterback drafted into the NFL in the history of Fordham football.

Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Max Hall and Coach WhisenhuntCoach Whisenhunt began the quarterback carousel this season with Derek Anderson as the starter.  That lasted until 2:30 left in the second quarter of game four, when Anderson threw his second interception of the game, which was returned for a touchdown.  Max Hall got the start for game 5 against the New Orleans Saints.  He threw an interception on his second attempt of the game, and the Cardinals won despite the offense not scoring a touchdown.  Hall kept his starting position for the Cardinals next game against the Seahawks.  He threw an interception on his third attempt.  Hall fumbled on the first posession of the third quarter, and Derek Anderson came in to replace Hall for the remainder of the game.  Then, for game 7 against the Buccaneers, Max Hall got the start again.  After Hall threw a touchdown pass early in the first quarter, he threw an interception on his next pass attempt, which was returned for a touchdown.  Max Hall threw another interception for a touchdown in the second quarter, and was again replaced by Derek Anderson for the remainder of the game.  Now Derek Anderson has been named the starting quarterback for the Cardinals next game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The starting quarterback has been rotated three times in eight games, and the starter has been removed from three games.  It’s like coach Whisenhunt has a quarterback carousel that he keeps spinning.  The quarterback carousel cannot get any worse for the Cardinals, and I am wondering how long it will be until John Skelton gets his turn.

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~ by Troy Erickson Realtor on November 5, 2010.

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