The Arizona Cardinals interviewed their fourth head coaching candidate on Thursday when they spoke with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, brother of the famous Jon Gruden, a Super bowl winning head coach and now Monday Night Football analyst. Jay spoke to the local media after his meeting with the team and, among other things, he talked about the quarterback position.
In Cincinnati, he has helped develop Andy Dalton, who has led a playoff team in his first two NFL seasons. Obtaining quarterback talent and developing it is one of the things that Michael Bidwill and new GM Steve Keim are looking for in a new head coach.
Gruden noted how the Cardinals' situation is clearly not what it should be.
"You need stability at that position to be successful," he said. "Not many successful teams in the history of the NFL can say, 'Hey, we had a great year. We played four quarterbacks.'"
There was one thing that Gruden said, though, that points to what ailed the Cardinals at that position.
"You have to develop some consistency there, and ride a guy, develop him, live with his mistakes, and hopefully he doesn't get injured," he said about how a team should handle a quarterback. This is not how Ken Whisenhunt handled the position after Kurt Warner.
He never gave Matt Leinart a chance. He pulled both John Skelton and Ryan Lindley, rather than riding them and seeing how they came through things. Perhaps he felt he had seen enough of Skelton, but it wasn't by any means a decent amount of time to allow him to develop.
Perhaps it was the pressure to win games that made him go back and forth between quarterbacks. Perhaps injuries were just the issue, knocking Skelton out in the first game before we could see how he did with the starting job, and then taking Kolb when he had shown that he was ready to be the guy. Perhaps his philosophy of competition was not quite the way to go with the position. After Kolb got hurt, Whiz never showed trust in any of the other guys.
If Gruden is hired, barring injury, it sounds like he would take a guy and go with him until it was absolutely clear that he was never going to be the answer. Clearly Lindley has not had enough time and truthfully Skelton was not given sufficient time to show whether he would get through his struggles.
If Gruden is hired, he has recent success with Andy Dalton. Do you think he could do something for the position in Arizona?
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