Splitting time for the quarterbacks

Posted by Darren Urban on May 30, 2012 – 1:50 pm

Guess the quarterback: 16-for-25, 247 yards, one touchdown. Cards win in overtime.

It was Kevin Kolb, against Dallas, in the middle of the Cardinals’ rebound stretch last season. It easily could have been John Skelton.

This isn’t to point out Kolb was better last season, or to downplay what Skelton accomplished. It is to point out, however, that once the defense found its groove, the Cardinals were winning in similar fashion when Kolb was QB — like they did against the Cowboys — as when Skelton was QB and the team was finding ways to win close games late.

This isn’t intended to rile up the Skelton-versus-Kolb crowd. Actually, it’s the opposite. As noted a few places, Kevin Kolb took first team reps Wednesday. Skelton led the first team Tuesday. This is just getting started. Barring something unexpected, I’d think each will get a chance to start in the preseason. Each will get their chances, just like coach Ken Whisenhunt has said. Obviously, the Cards have invested a lot, money and otherwise, in Kolb. I don’t think that will insure him the job, although maybe it tips it to him with everything else being equal. Could it end up equal?

But like I noted from the Dallas stat line that easily could have had Skelton’s name attached to it, there is a reason this has reached this point. That’s not going to change. It’ll go back and forth until deep into camp. That’s what I expect. That’s what the Cards want, to have each guy pushing.

“I’ve said it a hundred times: ‘Look, if you are afraid to compete in this league, go home,’ ” Kolb said. “There is a lot of time between now and (the season) and a lot of time to prove yourself.”

A lot of time.

This is just beginning.

Tags: ,
Posted in Blog | 44 Comments »

44 Responses to “Splitting time for the quarterbacks”

  1. By Cards4ever on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    Yesterday, on a ESPN show (can’t remember which one) someone mentioned that the team is more likely to back up Skelton over Kolb because Skeltons leadership and his command of the huddle is better than Kolbs. I haven’t heard you or Kent refer to anything along those lines in the past. Is there relevance to that report?

  2. By Darren Urban on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    Cards4ever –

    RE: Locker room

    I have no idea who those guys might be talking to, or even if they have talked to anyone. If Kolb plays well, they will back him. If he doesn’t, they won’t. That’s how it always works.

  3. By Jesse Robles on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I really like what Skelton brings, he has potential for his 3rd year in the league. Im not going to cut out Kolb, because the Cardinals would never do that with the amount of money they over paid him, but I just want the most consistent QB to play. I hope the new helmet works too, getting an offseason is going to help whichever QB starts, either way they both need work, I just hope someone, anyone, can get the ball to Fitz, Floyd, our TE’s, Slot guys, and RB’s, because the Cardinals have quite a few weapons.

  4. By Mark on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I Hope This Brings Out The best In them And Have A Good Winning QB For us In The Coming year’s. GO CARDINALS!!!!

  5. By MIKE G on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–It will be interesting to see how these QB’S shake out. It will be a good competition and I don’t see anyone with the inside track at this point. Maybe a slight edge to Skelton for leading the ship down the stretch. Darren–What is your biggest concern with each QB at this point???? Mine is Skelton—slow in starting games!!—Kolb—-IS Durability!!!!

  6. By Peter in Canada on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t think money enters into it. A coach is judged by wins. If he wins he gets contract extensions. If he loses he gets fired. Therefore it is in his interest to play the one whom he feels gives him the best chance to win. The owner and the GM may not be happy about a highly paid player backing up a lower paid player but they also want to win because winners sell out and losers have empty seats. Winning covers a multitude of sins. I see no reason to believe that the best man will not start, Besides NFL contracts are not like contracts in other sports. They can more easily be disposed of.

  7. By brad oneill on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    cards4ever- when kolb came in last year his leadership was apparent right away. he may have lost a little of his luster after the tough year he had last year but when the dirt starts flying and he starts making connections I think his swagger will re-emerge not that it ever went anywhere. He is just running into the same thing Joey porter did. its tough to take charge when you aren’t pulling your weight on game day.

  8. By Patrick Eagan on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I am pro kolb. Kevin Kolb’s accuracy is better and he had the better numbers last year. The only reason Skelton won all those games that he did was because the defense was finally playing great the last half the year. Kolb won’t throw interceptions and put the cardinals in the whole going into the 4th quater. I think Kolb sould be the starting quaterback. Plus, so much more is invested into him…. It should be intresting.

  9. By kkfan on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    If Kolb is given time to make his reads he will perform well. He proved that in Philly in the few opportunites he got to play. Where some fans (here) are getting that he didn’t is certainly puzzling. Not to mention a misconception. Given the fact that he was the NFC Offensive Player of the week TWICE! I am every bit as confident he can be every bit as effective hereg now having a years experinece with the system and his team mates and now some vaulable, camps to prepare him. I’m also happy to read that he got a new helmet to help prevent future concussions. I hope it works for him . I hope Kevin and the Cards have a healthy and great season in 2012! Go Kevin, Go Cards!

  10. By azdesertrat1953 on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    With all this hub-bub about who is going to be QB for the Cards, I for one am glad to see that we have, not One but Two QB’s that we know can Win. This is sort of the same problem we had at the start of the ’08’ season.
    (But Kurt W. was the best from the get-go, hands down, to start with, IMHO)

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I Like having this kind of problem. We all should know that whom ever comes out on top we will have Two Good QB’s that can win, to start the 2012 season.

    Darren, can you remember ever having Two Good QB’s that we Know can Win games, to start a season since the Cards have been in AZ?

  11. By Darren Urban on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    azdesert —

    RE: Two “good” QBs

    I don’t know if I am to that point with this situation. I tend to be from the “If you have two QBs you have none” camp. If you truly have a QB that you can be comfortable with all the time, there is no competition. If there is competition at that spot, it means you aren’t sure.

  12. By Card_fan on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    Couldn’t be Skelton’s stats. Where’s the multiple INTs?

  13. By Richard S. on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I know some people say that Skelton wasn’t the reason the team won during the end of the season, but it was the improved defense. If my memory serves me correctly, Kolb had 3 chances during the early season to lead a comeback down the field in a come from behind win and never made it to TD land. Then there’s Skelton, who was one of the top QB’s in the league in come from behind wins. I think that should count for something.

  14. By AndyStandsUpalltheway on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    IYO, Darren, how similar is this situation to the Leinart- Warner carousel?

    And I noticed at camp last season that Kolb liked to stay by himself when not participating in drills. Should I read anything into it?

  15. By Darren Urban on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Compared to Warner/Leinart

    Well, it’s exactly like it since it’s two QBs competing. If you are asking if the winner will come out and perform like Warner, I think that’d be asking too much.

    And I would tend to hold of on making sweeping judgements on what it meant because Kolb stood somewhere.

  16. By Justin on May 30, 2012 | Reply


    To be fair Kolb had 1 good half against Dallas. If memory serves me right he didnt even have 100 yrds passing at halftime.

  17. By Darren Urban on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Justin —

    RE: Kolb one half

    To be fair, go back and look at Skelton’s halves in all his wins and let me know if that was any different.

  18. By chris on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    Between the two QB’S, who appears to be athletic? My opinion kolb is the better athlete however I clearly see the size and strength Skelton possess. Your thoughts?

  19. By Darren Urban on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Comparing QBs

    My thoughts are the same as they have been: I can see the upside and downside of both guys as starter. There is no clear right answer, unfortunately. This competition is necessary.

  20. By BigBobDiesel on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    I’m going to say since ESPN is east coast bias, they don’t know what they are talking about. If we believe every report that a well know personality or writer says, i guess Lindley will be starting per Peter King.

  21. By Bobcat on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    Skelton is my choice. He is not a West Coast type of QB. that Kolb is, we here in Az do not use the West Coast type Offense.

    About wasting money on QB’s that is nothing new for the Cardinals. Her is a list of QB’s that the Cardinal Organization has wasted since 1997. Jack Plummer, Josh McCown, Matt Lienert, Anderson. I am sure that Whiz will play the best one who can win. So far John has show more then Kevin has when it comes to winning.

  22. By Cobra on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    To all of those who watched the ESPN segment on the NFC WEST. If you pay attention you would realize, they have no idea what the hell they are talking about. The EAST COAST IDIOTS are the worst source of info about the Cards. They never even mentioned the defense. They were to worried about sucking up to the 69ers and the Seacocks.

    We must also remember, the Cards rank about 24th as a favorite team. A great season would make that change. It’s hard enough, with the out of state fans routing for the opposing team. Respect is earned.

  23. By Logan Cooper on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    People who seriously think Skelton can lead this team really need to re-watch the games he started. He never put a complete game together and the majority of his “amazing” comebacks came against prevent defense.

    The guy had a 54% completion rating and a 68.9 QB rating. That is nothing short of terrible.

    Look at the games Kolb played in with the defense playing horrendous. If the defense would have played halfway decent. We would have come out 4-3.

    With Skelton, the defense played phenomenal, special teams even better and we still barely pulled games off. Skelton cannot diagnose a defense before the snap if his life depended on it. This offense is based on progression reads and anticipation, so if you cannot diagnose a defense before hand, you end up scrambling in the 4th quarter against prevent defense.

    I will say this, if he does become are starting QB, I hope he has progressed enough to overcome his blaring weaknesses.


    I’ve always wondered how many players have commented on here under different names? Or should I ask, how many have ever confessed to doing so?

  24. By Darren Urban on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Logan —

    RE: Players

    I think Adrian commented once a long time ago. But I would be willing to bet it hasn’t happened otherwise. I don’t think they much care.

  25. By Rugbymuffin on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Go Double Deuce!

    Let the best man win, and I will support who wins, but I am currently rooting for Double Deuce.

  26. By AZ Cardinals Rock on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    I know this is a little off track, How are the new O-lineman looking as far as getting down the technique and the assignments? I know the simple focus is the QB’s but if they don’t get more than 2 seconds to make a throw it won’t matter who is back there they are going to have a bad game. Skelton won when the tackles started to play a little and the line had some time to gel. I have a fear of the first 2-3 games being a repeat of last year. Linemen have to learn under fire also to trust the man next to him in blitz pickup and when to shift blocks as far as alignment. If we were to start all three new lineman, 2 tackles and one guard, the line will take time, but I think would eventually become a solid unit.

  27. By Darren Urban on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    AzCardinals Rock —

    RE: OL

    They are working on technique but seriously, with no pads on, it’s impossible to really tell.

  28. By Brent on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    I think that the QB competition is HUGE mistake. Just name Kolb the starter now. Or Skelton. It’s time to pick and put all the chips behind that guy. If Whiz does not know what each guy brings to the table now, how will that change over OTAs or training camp? If he really doesn’t know at this point, you have to question his ability as a talent evaluator. Pick the guy with the best chance to win and put everything behind him. Give the other one the 2nd team limited reps. The team needs to know who their leader is today and not Week 1 of the season. I’m all for competition at basically every other position up to the bitter end, but QB is simply different. Don’t believe me and think competition breeds success? When was the last time a Superbowl team had a QB competition in the offseason?

  29. By cardsalltheway on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    The HOF game will see each QB playing 1 quarter(K. Kolb will start followed by J. Skelton, R. Bartel, and R. Lindley). The remaining preseason games will be treated in similar ways as in the past. There is nothing groundbreaking going on. K. Kolb will start the game after the HOF game, J. Skelton will start the next game, then K. Kolb, then J. Skelton. R. Bartel and R. Lindley will get plenty of action. K. Kolb is “OUR(shhh) GUY.”

  30. By jonnyb on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Lets go cards cant wait to watch all our new guys and rooks hit the field
    Darren, do we have five preseason games cause of the Hall of Fame game?

  31. By Darren Urban on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    jonnyb —

    RE: 5 preseason games

    That is correct.

  32. By cactusdr on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Although not nearly as high-paid as Kolb, Matt Leinart came into camp as the solid #1 starter. Whiz announced that regardless of the past it was an open competition as to who his starter would be for Game 1. The over-the-hill Kurt Warner had the better training camp and pre-season games and the rest is history. I hope that Whiz follows through with this philosophy, regardless of contract size. This news would indicate that he’s sticking to his guns.

  33. By Kent on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    @ Patrick Eagan

    “Kolb won’t throw interceptions and put the cardinals in the whole going into the 4th quater.”

    Did you miss the Minnesota game? Go watch that first quarter of that game and tell me Kolb is not the reason the Cardinals were 14 odd points down early.

    However, the battle between the two of them is, in my opinion, one that is long term going to be fruitless. I think Skelton has the more long term upside and thus should be the QB we play this season because we know we are not going to get enough from Kolb to be a Quarterback that consistently gets you to, and wins games in the postseason.

    Right now Skelton is not either, but he has the upside to be able to get there and do it, but he needs to be given the chance to prove himself either way.

  34. By Mikel az on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Skelton throws multiple interceptoion on most games. Kolb does not

  35. By Logan Cooper on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Patrick Eagan,

    You are my new best friend. I am really surprised by how many fans really feel that skelton was the reason why we won the games we did last year. Good to see another pro-kolb fan out there.

  36. By Logan Cooper on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    You say that we know that Kolb is a QB that won’t consistently get us to the postseason? Kolb played one season under for us with no offseason, no playbook before hand and was thrown in the game.

    Kolbs stats were better all across the board and he was playing with a defense that was playing terrible. PP single handedly saved Skelton in 2 of the games he started.

    What long term upside does skelton really have? By the time he is developed to Kolbs level of play (stats prove it) and knowledge of the game, he will be 27. Which is Kolbs age right now.

    Also, don’t forget that we have 2 new offensive linemen last year who had no offseason and they didn’t mesh well till midway through the season.

    Look at kolbs dallas game and that is a small glimpse of what we will see when all cylinders are clicking.

  37. By BigBobDiesel on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    Good to see some pro Kolb people in here.

  38. By Kent on Jun 1, 2012 | Reply

    @Logan Cooper

    Look at Kolb’s history. Where has he ever shown that he is going to be any more than mediocre or average. There is a reason he was a second round pick, teams did not like his translation to the NFL. There is a reason a team with an injury prone QB and little backup traded him, he is not a franchise guy, he is not a guy who is going to give you consistent performances that will get you wins in the postseason.

    I am not sure what we have in Skelton, but you can watch the drive in the fourth quarter against the Eagles and see glimpses of a QB who has something. If Skelton consistently gives this team what he did in the fourth quarter in 2011 (that is 57% completions, 6 TD’s 3 INT’s, 7.7 YPA and a QBR of 89) and this team is looking far better than it is with Kolb who has no development left to his game. He spent four years in Philly is still came out of that an average QB with too many technical flaws.

    Personally I think we are going to be looking for a QB of the future soon (We cannot trust Skelton or Kolb, we cannot wait for Lindley) and soon may be the first round of the 2013 draft.

    But back to Kolb/Skelton. I think we all agree that we have a defense that can keep this team in games even with the poor quarterback play we have. Question is, who do you want under center in the fourth quarter in a tied game? Based on 2011’s level of play the only answer to that question is John Skelton.

  39. By Eazy E on Jun 3, 2012 | Reply

    Skelton is the better QB and will prove it throughout the offseason and preseason to nab the job. Kolb doesn’t deserve the job because of what we gave up and the money, he ain’t performing, he shouldn’t start no matter what. Big mistake by the Cards FO and we have to accept that, at least we wouldn’t have to pay him more when Skelton wins.

  40. By Kevin S on Jun 4, 2012 | Reply


    So Kolb being a 2nd round pick shows he can’t be a solid NFL QB? Well then you just defeated your argument for Skelton because if we have to hold it against Kolb that he was a 2nd round pick, then clearly a 5th round pick has no chance… right?

    Your points about Kolb in Philly have a little more merit… but let’s be realistic. He had finally earned the job, and then in his first game of his first season of starting, the Matthews hit derailed him. But for that, Kolb might still be the Eagles starting QB. They happened to have the luxury of Vick on the bench, and with as well as he played, Kolb never had a chance to get the job back (though he played well in some games as VIck’s replacement).

    Pointing out Skelton’s 4th quarter stats as possible evidence of what he can do is kind of pointless, as then the detractors can just point out that he was downrigh horrible in quarters 1-3… worse than any NFL QB (Gabbert’s QBR of 65.4 is the lowest among qualifiers). I mean, if a guy has a QB rating of 89 in the 4th and overall is under 69, then he must have been really be bad for 3 quarters. I’m a great golfer if you eliminate my bad shots. Kolb’s #’s would look great as well if you took out his bad quarters. (And his QBR of 81.1 overall isn’t too far off from the 89 that Skelton achieved only in the 4th.)

    People tend to create an after-the–fact story line around stats and results. Skelton is big, so his fans say he has “presence.” His stats in the 4th are good and the Cards won some close games under him, so he “knows how to win.” I think we need to be a little smarter, and not read too much into a small sample size that included 2 narrow wins against the worst team in the conference. I’m glad Skelton did well in the 4th, don’t get me wrong. But I’m not ready to crown him because of a few narrow wins in the 4th… some of those games we could have won more easily with decent QB play earlier. And for all you who emphasize so heavily his 4th quarter performance and the Cards’ W-L record in his games vs. Kolb’s, I just have one question for you: would you want the Cards QB to be Tim Tebow?

  41. By Logan Cooper on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    @Kevin S.

    Thank you, thank you. It’s good to see some logic and common sense in a post about these QB’s. I couldn’t have put it any better. The points you make, are the exact ones I’m yelling at my computer screen when people babble about how good Skelton is.

    I feel the main reason there is even a QB “competition” is because whiz is an old school guy. Skelton put in the work last year while Kolb was hurt, so he is giving him the opportunity. Barring some unforeseen event, Kolb is our starter.

  1. 3 Trackback(s)

  2. May 30, 2012: QB Kevin Kolb And QB John Skelton Splitting First Team Reps : NFLTradeRumors.coNFL Trade Rumors
  3. May 31, 2012: Kevin Kolb, John Skelton are splitting first-team snaps for Cardinals – CBS Sports | Cleveland Christian Radio
  4. May 31, 2012: Word From the Birds Blog | Whiz addresses QB competition (but not that other QB)

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: