The Arizona Cardinals' 25th season in the Valley gets underway Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium with the Seattle Seahawks coming to town.
Six weeks ago, most around the league would have expected a quarterback matchup featuring Kevin Kolb for the Cardinals and Matt Flynn for Seattle. But that won't happen.
Despite the fact that the two franchises signed those quarterbacks to deals totaling a potential $89 million, they'll both be on the sidelines. John Skelton is, of course, the opening day starter for the Cardinals, while Russell Wilson, a 5-foot-11 rookie from Wisconsin (via North Carolina State) won the Seahawks' quarterback competition.
Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt, a guest of Doug and Wolf Tuesday on Arizona Sports 620, is not shocked that the rookie will be at Seattle's controls Sunday.
"We did all of our offseason work on him as far as scouting him when he was coming out," Whisenhunt said. "I know he was a good college quarterback, he's done a lot of good things and it's not surprising to see him have success in the preseason with what they're asking him to do."
Wilson started two of Seattle's four preseason games, completing 40-of-63 passes for 536 yards and five touchdowns. He threw only one interception, and boasted a QB rating of 110.28. Not too shabby.
"There's a little bit of the unknown because we've seen him in the preseason and I'm sure there's some wrinkles that they've got offensively that they haven't shown, but we've got some wrinkles too, and hopefully ours will work okay," Whisenhunt said.
Some of those unknown wrinkles Whisenhunt was referring to could feature Wilson's running ability. The rookie ran for 150 yards and a touchdown on only 10 carries in the preseason. In his four-year college career, Wilson ran for 1,421 yards and 23 touchdowns, so the Cardinals offense will have to guard against him making plays with his legs as well as his throwing arm.