Spencer Whipple Makes Most Of Chance As Cardinals Playcaller

As Spencer Whipple climbed on the early bus to make the short drive to Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday, the skies opened up and cold rain pelted the windows.

And the Cardinals interim play caller realized then that none of the play sheets for the game had been laminated – just in case of rain.

Whipple, normally the team’s assistant wide receivers coach, usually is one of the coaches tasked with laminating. The other, coaching assistant Mike Berkovici, had moved into Cam Turner’s role of quarterbacks coach for the game and also had it slip his mind.

“We totally forgot,” Whipple said Tuesday, noting the two had a laugh about it. “That’s just part of the experience.”

The experience of Whipple’s first chance to call plays in the NFL couldn’t have gone better Sunday, with the Cardinals rolling up a 37-14 with head coach and playcaller Kliff Kingsbury (as well as Turner) absent because of Covid.

Jeff Rodgers, the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator, and Vance Joseph, the defensive coordinator, teamed to be co-interim head coaches. Sean Kugler remained in his role as run-game coordinator and offensive line coach.

Kingsbury, meanwhile, tabbed the 32-year-old Whipple to be the voice in quarterback Kyler Murray’s ears and Kingsbury proxy with the play sheet.

“There is only one guy who is making that decision and that is the head coach,” Rodgers said. “He said Spence is calling the plays, he’s going to…

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Darren Urban

Darren Urban

NFL - Cardinals

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Working my 22nd season covering the Arizona Cardinals. Opinions are my own, not the team’s. Warning and a promise: Sarcasm can be found here. @Cronkite_ASU