Rough out there for a QB

Posted by Darren Urban on November 13, 2012 – 10:20 am

When Ken Whisenhunt first named John Skelton his starting quarterback to begin the season, he noted that Kevin Kolb would stay ready, because the way the NFL goes, the Cardinals would need both their quarterbacks. That, of course, turned out to be true, with Kolb subbing for an injured Skelton in the very first game and then playing well enough to hold down the starting role until getting hurt himself when his ribs detached from his sternum on a hit against Buffalo.

Kolb had promised himself he was going to try and play through any injury after being sidelined so much last season. This time around he just couldn’t. This weekend, with the Cards coincidentally on a bye, the NFL showed exactly how difficult it can be to stay healthy as a quarterback in this league.

Three starters — the Eagles’ Michael Vick, the Bears’ Jay Cutler and the 49ers’ Alex Smith — had to leave their respective games because of concussions (which, of course, Kolb had to do last season.) The Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, the king of playing through any and all injuries it seems, had to leave Monday night’s game after hurting his throwing shoulder. As of this moment, it’s being called a sprain but no one really knows how much time it could cost him. As for the concussed QBs, well, Kolb missed a lot of time because of his and at the very least, it’ll be a little surprising if the trio can return the very next week, given the concussion concern around the league these days.

Bottom line (even as obvious as it is)? That backup QB is always just a play away, and the odds are good he’s going to be forced into some playing time at some point. This isn’t about fragility. It’s about fast, 275-pound bodies colliding with or twisting oddly the guy who has the ball in his hands more than anyone.

As for Kolb, he continues to throw it around at practice (like Monday, below) although his progress keeps his status in a kind of limbo. He still doesn’t sound like his return is around the corner.

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29 Responses to “Rough out there for a QB”

  1. By Bryth on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Although it pains me to say it, we really need Kolb back. He threw TDS, Skelton doesnt. Plain and Simple. They should both be cut after this season and we need to draft Aaron Murray next year. That kid throws TDs consistently

  2. By Dynosoar on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Good article Darren. When I think of fragile, I don’t think of someone getting hit by someone like Docket or Wilson or Lennon ten times or more each week and still remaining upright, let alone playing, as being fragile.

    Injuries happen.

    Speaking of injury prone, do you have the numbers of how many games Beanie has played vs. how many he has missed. It seems to me before this injury, he’s only missed 2 or 3 games due to injury. That doesn’t sound injury prone to me.

    Also, I’m seeing what Sarah’s seeing, that running backs appear to be getting injured more this season with the newest CBA practice rules than before. Does the data support or refute what we think we see?

    Thanks Darren.

  3. By Darren Urban on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Beanie

    In 2009, Beanie played in all 16 games. In 2010, he missed three of 16 games. In 2011, he missed two of 16 games. This season, Beanie will miss seven games because of the current torn toe ligament.

  4. By hotValleySun on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Skelton step up. This is your final chance to prove you are not a backup QB.

    If Andy Reid is fired and Kolb is cut, am I the only one to see a reunion somewhere?

  5. By Dynosoar on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply


    I’m not gowing to say we should or should not keep Kolb and Skelton.

    What I would say is your absolutely correct, we need a QB that finds the endzone over and over again each game. Lindley did it in the pre-season scrimage games, but I trust our coaching staff to determine when he’s ready to do it at full NFL speed.

    Arguments on both sides, Manning started day 1 in the NFL, his brother was groomed behind Warner. Which aproach is best, I really don’t know.

    I don’t know anything about Aaron Murray, but if we’re looking at a rookie out of college, I like Tyler Bray, but he’s still a Junior. If he hadn’t been injured last year, he was on track to beat all of Mannings records. Whether he could’ve, we’ll never know, but he was on track after his Freshman year. Not bad at all.

    I’d like to draft Bray and let him learn the game behind someone for a few years. Again, I was excited about all three of our QB’s when they signed and am not going to give up on any of them for a college QB until such a time comes. Until then, Go Kolb! Go Skelton! Go Lindley!

    (As I wrote that last line I thought of what I say whenever a friend of mine says “Go Niners!” I respond “Yeah, Go Niners, go right out of town.” That’s not what I ment with the Go cheer above.)

  6. By Dynosoar on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, thanks.

  7. By john the draft guy on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply


    Let me say I like Beanie and root for him. When he is full strength, he makes a difference.

    But, I think there is a difference in missing games and being banged up. I remember his bowl game when he left the game before halftime. Did he start ? Yes. Could Ohio St count on him? I dont know.

    So, how many games did he have to leave or not full speed. Here is a stat I look at.
    2009, he had 176 carries or 11 carries a game.
    2010, he had 116 carries or 9 carries a game
    2011- this was his break out year- 245 carries, 1049 yds , 17.5 carries per game

    Most top backs get 280-340 carries per year, which Beanie was close in 2011.

    Are there other factors that come into play, ie score? Sure. But, really, 1 out of 4 years, he has been someone you can count on to take the ball 15-20 times a game.

  8. By Darren Urban on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    john the draft guy —

    RE: Beanie carries

    Don’t forget too Whisenhunt was going to have him split carries in 2009-10 with Hightower. And if Williams had stayed healthy in 2011, I’d bet he would have eaten into Wells’ “breakout” totals. Don’t get me wrong, you have fair arguments on Wells, but using carries alone doesn’t tell the whole story because that isn’t always because of Beanie.

  9. By JR on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin Kolb should not come back this year. I am very familiar with his type of injury. Ribs detaching from the sternum is a very serious and dangerous injury. It takes weeks, if not months, to heal properly. I hope for Kevin’s sake that he sits out the remainder of the year. I don’t see any way he could take another vicious hit this year with that type of injury.

  10. By john the draft guy on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    I thought about Hightower right after I hit send.

    True,but my point was, neither does games played.

    As I said, I believe when Beanie is rolling, he is a very good back. But, he just doesn’t seem to be at full speed and stay full speed many games.

    If he could give me 15 carries a game for 14 games, sign me up. I just don’t know if we can get that out of him.

    That is why I think fans see him as out all the time even when he is active.

  11. By badoline on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Im faded with this season as it is. I can’t wait to see what kind of talent this team will add from the draft for the future. For this season, 6 and 10 is the conclusion.

  12. By Dynosoar on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy,

    My best friend from High School always said,

    “Reality is not reality, but only what the mind thinks is reality.”

    Your comment “That is why I think fans see him as out all the time even when he is active.” fits and explains a lot. Even when active, he is faded into the background.

    When I used to play (two bodies, err, I mean several years ago) I didn’t play to be faded in the background. I wasn’t concerned about what spectators thought, I wanted the other team to fear a big play from me and I played every play like that. HOWEVER, I never played against NFL level players either. The best I played against were college level.

    Good analysis and supporting data.

    I’m looking forward to our next playoff appearance and still believe this year is possible. (I don’t think San Fran can do it without Alex Smith, but that does leave those pesky Seahawks.) If we were the Pirates and not the Cardinals I’d rip off a hearty Arrrgh!

  13. By D on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Look at the top 15 offenses in the league, they all have QB’s that are completing over 50% completions and have one or two Rb’s averaging 4 or more yards per carry. The Cards have not had either for a consistant period of time in years…every team goes through injuries, so the main issue here is player personnel. Either by free agency or by draft, this team has made the wrong choices at the QB spot, RB spot and the Oline as a whole. That falls on the GM and coaching staff.

  14. By The everlasting Kolbstopper on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    I think every QB in the NFL has at least 50% completion percentage… That stat was irrelevant to your point.

  15. By phillycards on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    I have to pass on beanie.or bring him back with a lower rate one yr deal. He was hurt last year even though he played and now this.

    Skelton must go. I read how teams don’t blitz him becuase they will rather let him get yrs and turn the ball over.48 attempts 308 yds and 1 or 2 picks I’ve seen enough

    I don’t want to wait on any player third yr or more who hasn’t turned the corner yet. They all must go.we can’t win with them.

    And were going to have to eat money rebuilding the line. Snyder was a waste.

  16. By sarah on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    To get TD’s :

    – Need a reliable OL that can run block, remember LSH smoked at the 2 !
    – Receivers that can get separation and actually catch the ball
    – Decent OC plays sent out , several GB game calls were clueless
    – QB’s throwing accurately and with over 3 seconds to make a decision, no receiver ever gets separation in 3 seconds unless it is a quick slant or screen pass.
    – mistakes eliminated .


  17. By jocards on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    @ phillycards

    I tend to agree that Skelton is not the answer (if he is I’d really need to know the question!) but really what choice do we have at this point? At least until Kolb returns he is the guy….I think he can develop into a serviceable backup in the NFL. I hope for better from him but his accuracy issues and his decision making make me wonder quite often.

  18. By Jordan on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    I really like that EJ Manuel. Although I’d prefer not to have to draft a QB in April, but as it is right now neither Kolb nor Skelton can take this team to a Superbowl.

  19. By bean on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Kolb can stay on the bench.thats the best place for him!

  20. By hotValleySun on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    We are looking into next season with >40% of this season still to play out. This has been the theme the past 3 years.

    We the cards must be voted #1 eternal optimists…

  21. By truths4all on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    I wonder if those who make the easy call to cut Kolb or Skelton have any clue about what it takes to play the postion of QB well in the NFL. All of these type of armchair experts called Smith a total failure with the 49ers. And yet when he got protection and a chance to really learn an offensive playbook without it being changed every season, he has excelled. Do any of these so-called “fans” who call for the cutting of Kolb and/or Skelton actually realize that the Cards offensive line has be totally terrible this season? When you offensive line cannot pass block or run block, you do not have an offense. AND you cannot evaluate your QBs with any accuracy. Do you guys see in hindsight that the Cards offensive line is why Peyton Manning quickly left town and eliminated the Cards from his consideration?

  22. By brad oneill on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    I have one question about our running game. why do we start with lsh, those little backs tend to do a lot better once the defense has been worn down a bit. lets start with powell then after the opposition is bruised put lsh in. I like the guy, hell i love him but running him early just seems like setting the team up for failure.

  23. By Peter in Canada on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    I have looked at all the points made about Kolb and Skelton. Nobody has made reference to the fact that we play in a salary cap league.

    Skelton has not shown that he can be a number 1. However, he is not being paid like a #1 QB. He is a backup QB being paid backup money. I think Skelton should be kept as the backup and see if he can improve.

    Kolb has shown at times that he has the potential to be a #1. The problem is that over the last 3 years he has been unavailable about half the time. He is being paid like a #1 QB, without performing like a #1 except on rare occasions. I would think the club should seriously look at getting better value for money than Kolb has provided. Football is a business and must be run like a business in order to obtain the best results.

  24. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Has Rich Bartel signed with anyone?
    If not, elgible to re-sign with Cards?

  25. By Darren Urban on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Bartel

    He has not signed. Yes, he could re-sign here.

  26. By Credit Card on Nov 13, 2012 | Reply

    Opposing teams do not have to blitz the Cards, due to 4 D-lineman can out man 5 Card O-lineman and one running back. Also, teams have “solved” how to beat and disrupt the line of scrimmage. It is not wise to compare Kolb’s numbers against Skelton’s numbers based on how other teams now have solved the Cards wows. The Cards have to over-come their shortfalls (mainly their O-line); until then Brady, Warner, Johnny Unitis, Namuth, Elway, Marino …. all will be wowful if they were behind the Cards marshmellow boys up front.

  27. By cardsalltheway on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    “Rough out there for a QB”

    Especially with our QB’s as Mike Sando shows us with statistical details just how and why our offense is the WORST in the NFL. Mr. Sando didn’t even mention us until the last sentence/last words, but it’s all in the numbers in plain sight(#32)…
    “One side note: The Rams’ defense ranked seventh through Week 7 in the expected points category. That ranking has fallen to 24th after games against Green Bay, New England and San Francisco. That has raised concerns, but we should expect the ranking to improve following upcoming games against the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals.”

    Ken W. is not capable of fixing our offense this year, next year, or ever. Tootaloo!

  28. By Eazy E on Nov 14, 2012 | Reply

    Cardinal fans that don’t realize it, we don’t have our QB for next year on the roster currently. Cut our losses with Kolb shouldn’t have started off in the first place and Skelton we can keep, but get the ”guy” in FA or the draft.

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