Ken Whisenhunt denies Cardinals players prefer John Skelton

The battle for the Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback job has entered its crucial final phase with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton splitting reps in the first workout of training camp.

By all accounts, it's a friendly rivalry with no animosity between two players with low-key personalities. But it might have created a bit of animosity between Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest.

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McGinest said on the air Tuesday that he's talked to some Arizona players who favor Skelton.

"Talkin' to some of my buddies down there it seems like they (the players) are gravitating towards Skelton. He's a big quarterback, he's tough in the pocket, he has a carefree attitude," McGinest said. "He really doesn't have any pressure. He didn't get a huge contract like Kolb did and you know he's one of those guys that can command a huddle. He can come in there ... and guys just like his attitude going towards the game."

A day later, Whisenhunt took issue with that assessment.

"I have no perception whatever that that's going on," Whisenhunt said. "From what I've seen, standing in the huddle, which I don't believe he was in the huddle, the team's responded to both guys and feel like both guys can be successful for them. So I don't put a whole lot of stock into that. If he's willing to say who it was or what they're talking about and what context, maybe it would be worthy of commenting."

Larry Fitzgerald, the team's star receiver, said he couldn't fathom where such comments would have originated.

"I haven't heard that," he said. "I've heard some guys say we want the best guy to lead our team, I've heard that, but I haven't heard anybody leaning towards anybody. ... You never want to go off the record like that behind people's back. That's not becoming of a Cardinal."

Said guard Daryn Colledge, "I don't know who Willie's guy is, but I speak for the offensive line, we have no favorites."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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