Ken Whisenhunt Isn’t Surprised At The Arizona Cardinals’ 4-0 Start

October 4, 2012 – 9:30 am by Eric Schmoldt

Perhaps the biggest surprise through the first quarter of the NFL season is the play — and record — of the Arizona Cardinals. They may not have reached the hardest part of their schedule yet, but did go on the road to beat the New England Patriots, followed it up by beating Philadelphia and they’re now 4-0 heading into tonight’s game against the St. Louis Rams. But while the rest of the country may be scratching their heads, Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t all that shocked.

Ken Whisenhunt joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss his team’s 4-0 start, how good his defense is, the quarterback situation, the decision he’ll need to make if John Skelton returns from injury, Kevin Kolb this year compared to last and the play-making abilities of Patrick Peterson.

How surprised are you that your team is 4-0?:

“I’m not surprised. I think when you win seven of your last nine games last season and you get a lot of the same guys back, you feel pretty good about having a strong start. That was one of our focuses in the offseason and so far we’ve done OK.”

How good is this defense?:

“They’ve been pretty good. They’ve kept us in games, made plays. But we’ve found a number of ways to win. I think it’s overlooked sometimes that our special teams have made some big plays. They blocked a punt against New England, which was big, and at critical times our offense has made big plays, too. So it really is a team effort, but our defense is definitely carrying the flag for us right now.”

Some coaches say you can’t lose your job due to an injury. With your quarterback spot, is it possible that the injured John Skelton has lost his job to Kevin Kolb?:

“I don’t know about that policy. I hear people talking about that all the time. I think what we’ve always done is we base our decisions on what player gives us the best chance to win. I think we’ve been pretty consistent with that. And I guess, over the last 13 games, it’s worked out pretty well for us.”

Is Kolb your starter?:

“Well, he’s going to start this game. We know that. Until John’s healthy and ready to go, we don’t really have to make a decision. … I’m sure that, at some point, we’re going to have to make a decision. But we had to make a decision in training camp. I remember a lot of people kept saying, ‘Well, you’ve got to make a decision by Week 2 or you’ve got a decision by Week 3.’ We are going to make that decision when that chance comes up. And like I said, we’re going to go with the player we think gives us the best chance to win.”

How different is Kolb this year?:

“He’s done a nice job for us. When we made the decision to go with John at the start of the season, we said, ‘The chances of a quarterback making it through the whole year are not good.’ We thought we would make it through at least one game maybe, but Kevin’s done exactly what we thought he would do. He’s coming in; he’s played well. And you’ve got to give him credit for that.”

Comparing Patrick Peterson and Devin Hester:

“I’d say he’s at par with Devin Hester, but he doesn’t have the resume of Devin. He’s got so many more touchdowns because he’s done it over time. But, as far as athletically, and as far as being able to make a play, make something out of nothing, Patrick can do that. The only difference is, Patrick hasn’t done kick returns for us. He did it in college and that would be another thing he would do very well.”

On needing to have him on the field whether it’s defense, special teams or in the wildcat on offense:

“I think he’s such a dynamic player that, just like we’ve been using him in the wildcat, you can’t put him out there too many times, but you certainly want to make sure that you give him some opportunities, because at any time he can make a game-changing play.” Do you see him playing more of a role on offense?: “Oh yeah. I’d love to have that.”

Listen to Ken Whisenhunt on The Dan Patrick Show here (Interview begins at 31:00)

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