John McNulty was put in an interesting position with the Arizona Cardinals. He had a contract to coach for the Cardinals, but then an old colleague, Greg Schiano, got hired to be head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Schiano wanted McNulty to be his offensive coordinator, but the Cardinals said no, as they could block the interview request per league policies.
Instead of being bitter, as you never know how often a promotion opportunity will come up again, he maintained communication with Ken Whisenhunt, Michael Bidwill and Rod Graves and discussed things about the team. He impressed them so much that they moved him up from receivers coach (his job last season) to QB coach.
McNulty was on Arizona Sports 620 Thursday afternoon and spoke of the job and the quarterbacks.
"I just thought I could help make that position better," he said about the move to QB coach. It was based on what he had told Larry Fitzgerald before, "we could sit here and complain or get frustrated about what has happened with that position the past couple of years or we could try to do something about it."
He noted that both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have "tangible things that could help them improve every day that their here."
He spoke a little bit differently about both Kolb and Skelton. He could not overemphasize the pressure Kolb had and how he needed to get the reps. He raved about John Skelton's physical tools, but noted the need to improve on the mental side.
McNulty said that Kolb was under the perceived pressure to lift the team to a 16-0 season. Kolb did do something very well. "I think what Kevin did a great job with was cultivating the relationship and respect of the team and showing his leadership and did everything he could to learn the system, but learning it and putting it into practice are two different things," he explained.
As for Skelton, he noted how the speed of the game and the change of the level of competition affect him greatly.
"The speed of the game and the fact that if you're off by half a count, it's too late, and it could cost your team a game," McNulty said. "I think those things under fire came clear to him."
He talked about Skelton's ability to "hum the ball," and compared the struggles that Eli Manning had his first couple of seasons to those of Skelton's. Essentially, Skelton needs to connect the mental side with the physical side and if he does that, he could be very good.
In any case, McNulty showed great confidence in both, noting that they are "more than capabale of being productive at the position." He noted that both Skelton and Kolb are working the way that Manning did and said, "I think sooner than people think their talents will come to the floor, and hopefully I can help them do that."
The most important thing to note from all this is how he is ready to make both guys better instead of hoping for a godsend named Peyton.
The proof will come on the field, but if McNulty can do what he believes he can, wecan expect much better play from one or both guys this next season.
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