Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said some personnel changes were coming, and on Sunday one big change came at quarterback, when Whisenhunt pulled John Skelton out in the first half for Ryan Lindley, who played from the second quarter on.
Neither quarterback was very effective against the Falcons. Skelton and Lindley were a combined 11-of-27 for 70 yards passing and zero touchdowns. Their quarterback rating was a combined 48.5.
“Well I think it was not so much a function of John Skelton as it was where our team was,” Whisenhunt said when speaking of replacing Skelton with Lindley.
“When you say to your team that you’re going to make changes if guys aren’t making plays, and you’ve done that already in a couple of spots, you’ve got to stay consistent with that message.”
Most people would question why Whisenhunt would make the move when the Cardinals were already up 13-0 on Atlanta.
At the time of the switch, Skelton was 2-of-7 for six yards, so he wasn’t getting it done, hence the move.
The move will no doubt spark a quarterback controversy this week, as the Cardinals get ready for the Rams on Sunday.
Whisenhunt said he’s not quite ready to name a starter for Sunday, simply because he believes that both Skelton and Lindley have to prove themselves during practice this week, and to name a starter without a proper evaluation would be foolish.
“That’s a process that we have to go through, a lot of that,” Whisenhunt said.
“We’ve got to get better as an offense. We’ve got to be more productive. Regardless of what our situation is with the tackles, with the running backs, with everything, we’ve got to work hard to make more plays, and that’s what it’s really about.”
Running back Beanie Wells – who will be officially activated for Sunday’s game against St. Louis – sides with his head coach on the decision to start the best players available who give the team the greatest shot to win.
“That’s the way it should be,” Wells said. “We get paid to play football, and we get paid to play football the right way, and we’re not doing it right. We’re here to win games, not just to go out there to play a game and have fun. If we’re not going to do the things necessary to win games, [then] things have to be changed.”