Cardinals’ power duo dodges Manning questions

INDIANAPOLIS — Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt spent most of last year’s NFL Scouting Combine news conference fielding questions about Arizona’s quarterback position.

Apparently, Year 1 of the Kevin Kolb experiment — derailed by injury and drowned out by John Skelton‘s heroics — failed to answer those questions, because here Whisenhunt was again Thursday.

Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was the target of many Peyton Manning-related questions Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. (Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

The coach talked quarterbacks and artfully brushed off questions about chasing Peyton Manning, whose future with the Colts remains clouded.

“I’m not going to get into those scenarios,” Whisenhunt said when asked if the Cardinals might pursue Manning if the Colts set him free. “I think Rod Graves, our general manager, said it best. We’re always looking for opportunities with players. I don’t think that’s any different from any team in the league.”

Graves, who spoke after his coach, remained tamper-free, telling reporters he’s a fan like everyone else when it comes to Manning, wondering if and when the quarterback will play again. As for where he’d play, not a word.

“We’ve got an outstanding group of quarterbacks with us right now,” Graves said. “We believe we can win with those quarterbacks, and, you know, we’re preparing as if they’re going to be the group we’re working with. And we’ll see other opportunities present themselves if that happens.”

Whisenhunt confirmed once again that Kolb and Skelton will compete for the starting job next season and said there’s been no discussion about Kolb’s $7 million bonus, which is scheduled to be paid March 17.

“I think John’s earned the ability to be given consideration for the position, just because of what he did and his record and the way he played,” Whisenhunt said, “but I also think that we have a lot invested in Kevin as well.”

— Marc Sessler

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