Sitting at 1-6, the Arizona Cardinals have a lot of questions to answer. Almost every fan in the world probably has a million questions to ask them. Hit the jump to find out the ROTB Writing Team's answers to 3 of those millions questions. (Don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comments, because you know as much as us, and possibly more).
1) 1) With Kevin Kolb continuing to fail to meet expectations, do you think we could see John Skelton at any point this season?
Tyler: I do not think the Cardinals will play John Skelton at any point this season unless Kevin Kolb were unable to play due to an injury. Part of Kolb's problem is that he doesn't have a ton of experience, so taking him out of the game in favor of Skelton would be detrimental to his growth as well. Add in the fact that the Cards paid Kolb to be the franchise QB and you can pretty much kiss the idea of Skelton playing goodbye. Kolb would really have to struggle for Skelton to start a game.
Jesse: No, we will not see John Skelton this season barring injury to Kolb. I understand a lot of people are down on Kolb and he definitely deserves some of it but in reality I think much of the fault lies in the usual suspects - the front five. The interior has been playing well enough and overall the line has been doing well in the run department but giving up 6 sacks (Keith was benched in favor of Bridges at one point) is probably the biggest reason Kolb looked bad. Arizona is one of the worst teams in the league when it come to giving up pressures and sacks. Before I give up on Kolb I would like to see him play a game where he actually has time to throw (and of course steps up into the pocket instead of bailing).
Jess: Barring injury or garbage time, no. That won't happen. They team has too much invested in him to make a change. Plus, he needs the reps. He's the guy that they will ride. And that is how it should be. If because of injury Skelton plays and does well under similar circumstances, then you can do more open competition next year.
Kent: No, I don't think we see it. He is playing as I expected (Not well), but we are not going to make the switch part way through season 1 when we signed Kolb to a big money long term deal. Like it or not this team is going to live and die with Kevin Kolb. Right now it looks more like die than live, at least short term, but then again, Matt Schaub was not lighting up the league in his first two seasons in Houston. How Kolb develops and how this team develops is going to have a lot to do with how well they hit on their draft picks in the next 2-3 years.
Joe: I don't think Kolb should get benched yet for Skelton in case there is an injury, if Kolb isn't good to go on Sunday I don't mind playing Skelton. If anything, give SKelton the last two or three games to get a look at how he has progressed sincel ast season. I don't really think Skelton will be a big upgrade over Kolb at this point, but Skelton does have a big advantage in pocket presence and his overall ability to handle pressure which has probably been Kolb's biggest issue this season. Accuracy wise, I'd still give Kolb the edge, although he hasn't been as accurate this season as he was with Philly. Skelton getting the last couple of games all depends on the record of course.
2) The season is virtually done. What should the Cardinals be aiming for now?
Tyler: The Cards should be aiming for developing their young players, such as Kolb, Acho, Schofield, etc.
Jesse: Let the youth movement begin. Get creative, try new things, and throw the book at every team we play. Not much else we can do.
Jess: That is easy. They should try to win football games. "You play to win the game!" Within that, you try to see improvements in little things and details, but those are also the focus in wins as well. They need to play consistently for a full 60 minutes.
Kent: Play for the now with an eye firmly cast on the future. This means giving out young players a time to prove (or disprove) themselves on the football field. It means getting Acho and Schofield snaps. It means leaving AJ Jefferson on the field in tough times to see how he fights through it, it means getting Rob Housler a lot of the football, it means really seeing what Sampson and Williams have to offer to this team in game situations. The team cannot abandon this season, if they do the staff completely loses the players (but really who is to say they have not already), but they cannot continue to play through this season without seeing what the youngsters have to offer.
Joe: Getting the best offensive lineman they possibly can in the draft.
3) Coaching has been cited as a problem this season. Who is at most fault on the Coaching Staff?
Tyler: The entire coaching staff is at fault for their inability to help this team win. We have seen offensive and defensive struggles throughout the season, so putting the blame on one person's shoulders wouldn't be fair.
Jesse: As many have read, I am a big supporter of Whisenhunt. Well at least until our last game. I don't understand many of the play calls in the second half and I think Horton was out coached on the defensive side of the ball. I'm not sure if Whisenhunt should go or not, he has built a better roster (outside of the line) and our youth and depth looking as promising as they ever have. But he hasn't produced in a performance driven game. Whiz is safe this year, but I do not know about next.
Jess: That is a very good question. Since we don't get told much about what coaches do what, it is really hard to say. Mike Miller makes play calls, but works with Russ Grimm and Ken Whisenhunt for the game plan. Since it seems that we have had the most issue with playcalling and offensive strategy, I have to place this on Whiz' shoulders because he is the boss and is heavily involved with the offensive game plan. Ray Horton dialed things back when the defense was unable to effective implement things. There has been no indication that Whiz has simplified things for Kolb at all since the start of the season. Maybe it has been, but there has been no indication.
Kent: I think the biggest culprits on this team are the positional coaches, our players are not executing the basic skills, and that is on your positional staff. Russ Grimm has finally got out OL playing very well in the ground game, but they still have their issues in the passing game (Though to be fair all tackles have issues when you go empty backfield, 7 step drops with no help in blocking, that is a receipe to get even the best pass blocking tackle in the game beat, let alone Brown, Bridges and Keith), Ron Aiken has got Carter and Campbell playing great ball, Dockett is Dockett, but outside of those guys our positional coaches are really letting us down. Matt Raich has a bit of license becasue he could hit with Schofield and Acho, as does Cioffi with our young secondary, but the likes of Jim McNulty and Tommie Robinson coaching our WR's and backs respectively have not done this team any favors, especially with the development (Or lack there of) of our younger WR's (Roberts, Williams, Sampson). Chris Miller has not helped Kolb play to his potential, even if he is still learning the playbook, the plays he is running he is not executing, inaccurate throws, lack of pocket presence, that is on your QB coach, you have to TEACH him what to do in those situations. In the end, who hires those positional coaches...The blame can always come back to the Head Coach, and while it may not be right to give him his walking papers at the end of this season, midway 2012 we are still seeing this team, expect another man to be prowling the sidelines late in the year and in 2013, possibly with his own choice at QB.
I think most of the blame goes to the coaching staff for failing to adjust to their personnel. Peterson and Jefferson are better man-to-man corners, yet they are mostly in zone. Acho and Schofield didn't get a chance to really get out there until Porter got hurt even though he was playing poorly. Dockett is mostly being used as a space eater even though he is best used as a pass rusher. Kolb is not comfortable yet in Whiz's offense, yet they don't adjust the offense to fit him better, they just try to throw every QB into the Kurt Warner
offense and I'm starting to feel like all of the problems on offense since Warner retired were because that the coaches haven't realized that it takes someone with the football smarts of Kurt Warner to run this offense to perfection and they just assume any random person they throw in there can run all of it right away. SIMPLIFY things, fit the offense and the defense to the players you have, don't just be like Mike Martz and try to run the exact same system everywhere you go even if it only truly worked with Kurt Warner. So, yes, I'm blaming everyone here.
Don't forget to answer these questions yourself in the comments below, and feel free to ask any questions you have about the Cardinals.