The Arizona Cardinals quarterback battle could be a running theme for the NFL rumors this preseason. When the Cardinals acquired Kevin Kolb from the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second round pick the Cardinals thought they had gotten their quarterback of the future. However, Kolb had a subpar year last season and was pretty much outplayed by John Skelton who went 6-2 for the Cardinals down the stretch while replacing an injured Kolb.
After throwing only four passes in the preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, only one of which was complete while another was picked off, Kolb was removed from the game with what turned out to be bruised ribs. This is not exactly the start the Cardinals were hoping for from Kolb, especially since they signed him to a $62 million contract last summer.
Skelton, who replaced Kolb, went 4-for-6 in his pass attempts and led the Cardinals on a 14-play, 90-yard drive that culminated in an Alfonso Smith 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Skelton didn’t post eye-popping numbers last season, posting only a 68.9 quarterback rating and throwing for 11 touchdowns but 14 interceptions as well as accumulating 1,913 yards on 152 of 275 passing. By contrast, Kolb threw for 1,955 yards on 146 of 253 passing with 9 TDs and 8 INTs while posting an 81.1 rating.
Neither Kolb nor Skelton did much of anything to help their cause last season. Kolb still holds the edge in the quarterback battle based on talent and his huge contract. However, head coach Ken Whisenhunt won’t hesitate to replace Kolb is feels like Kolb is not the answer at quarterback. In the meantime, Kolb needs to stay on the field and play well, or at least show signs of improvement, or he might risk being outplayed and subsequently replaced as Cardinals quarterback. This should be an interesting battle to watch so long as Kolb stays healthy enough to compete.