No joke, Derek Anderson keeps starting job in Arizona

Derek Anderson gets the last laugh.

Or something like that.

However you choose to look at it, the veteran will remain the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals this week after another poor performance Monday night in the team’s 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Drawing more attention than Anderson play on the field was his composure off the field when ESPN cameras caught him yukking it up with teammate Deuce Lutui late in the blowout, a point analyst Jon Gruden hammered.

Asked about the incident after the game, Anderson blew up in his press conference. Still, coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t want to turn to rookie options on the team – Max Hall or John Skelton. Whisenhunt maintains that Anderson gives the team the best chance to win.

“Listen, nobody likes this,” Whisenhunt said, according to the team’s Web site. “If people think we are content, that’s wrong. It hurts. It hurts to lose games like that, it hurts to hear our fans boo, especially with everything we have done to make some progress (the last few years). … You feel like you have worked hard to get your fans’ trust. Nothing is going to be easy in this league. We are working to try and get back to where we feel we represent our city and our fans well.

“I’m not going to sit here and ask for patience because people pay money to come watch us play and their expectations are for us to be better than what we have done. I am just telling you, there is everyone here in this organization, from top to bottom, to make sure that happens. I believe we are going to get it right.”

Whisenhunt said he will not play Skelton this year unless forced to do so by injuries because he doesn’t want to run the risk of stunting development.

“You run the risk of damaging a young guy,” Whisenhunt said.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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