From the Cheap Seats
Arizona Cardinals – One week left in the preseason
We just completed our fourth preseason game playing the Tennessee Titans on Thursday of this week. I wish I could say a lot of good things in this column regarding the Cardinals and their play but after that game in Tennessee I can’t.
The talk throughout preseason has been the quarterback competition between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb. After the Oakland game and Cobb’s performance everyone was sure that the starting job was John Skelton’s, everyone but me. The hype with John Skelton is that he’s tall at 6’ 6” and 245 pounds, he has the NFL body and the tools to be a great quarterback. If his height and weight determine whether that makes a good quarterback then yes he should be, but after the Tennessee game it proves absolutely nothing.
My contention with our quarterbacks is this; Kevin Kolb has more quarterback experience both in college and in the pros but has yet to show that on the field for an entire season. What adds to his difficulties are his concussions that he suffered and that is never an easy issue to deal with. So I can understand his hesitancy when he’s in the pocket and his uneasiness when it comes to getting hit because seriously one hit could end his career. But that’s why they pay them the big bucks, nobody twisted his arm to sign a contract so you take what you get. Kolb’s performance in Tennessee was better than anything he’s done in the preseason so far but one good performance doesn’t mean much overall.
John Skelton on the other hand had the chance to start the game in Tennessee and take control and put an end to this quarterback controversy, he didn’t. Skelton looked like a second-year player with minimal starts against Tennessee. I have said all along that what hurts the Skelton most is that he has very little starting quarterback experience dating back to college. Coming from Fordham, Skelton’s football experience came in a minor college football conference which further restricts the effectiveness and growth. We all know that John went 6-2 during his starts last year for the Cardinals but as I said before that 6-2 Mark could easily have been 2-6 without heroics of Patrick Peterson and Calais Campbell.
In speaking with a lot of Cardinal fans my contention for this preseason has been rookie Ryan Lindley, quarterback out of San Diego State University. They are Lindley was a four-year starter recording 49 starts in his football career in college. That is a lot of experience taking snaps from center that neither one of our quarterbacks in the Cardinals controversy have on their resume. I understand that it will be a stretch for Lindley to win the starting position this season. The Cardinals have painted themselves in a corner with Skelton and Kolb in the paint looks mighty wet.
After pathetic showings so far this preseason I cannot see why the Cardinals would not put Lindley in this mix because the bottom line is the Cardinals need a quarterback that will lead this team. Kolb and Skelton to me, played like they didn’t want to lose the position. In coaching terms they were playing to not lose instead of playing to win, and I’ve always had a problem with that sort of attitude. Lindley on the other hand has come out and played the same type of ball he played in college to where he was confident under center and was not afraid to air the ball out and stretch the field. I’ve had my fill of the other two quarterbacks doing these little check down passes where they gain three or 4 yards and play it safe. This competition for the starting position on an NFL team they should play like men and put your big boy shorts on and go at. Lindley seems to be the only one willing to do that so I say give them a chance. Will it happen? Probably not but you never know with injuries and poor play he could get a chance.
I seriously do not like what I see from our quarterback play. What bothers me more is the play that we’re getting from our offensive of tackles. The defenses that we have faced have run past them and were on the quarterback like a bum on a bologna sandwich. The blocking from our tackles have been awful in none of those players should be proud of their performance. At the end of last season I commented that I would be shocked if the Cardinals bring their tackles back for this coming season, well I’m shocked. Levi Brown suffered a season-ending injury and where I always feel for players that are injured and don’t see that as being much of a loss. But we did very little in the free agency to address our tackle issues. We did draft a few players but being rookies he can expect too much.
So we have one preseason game last to get things right and quite honestly I don’t feel real great heading into the season with such a weak offensive line in the tackle position like we have. Add that to the poor performance of our two quarterbacks and this could mean serious trouble for the Cardinals. I do trust the Cardinals organization to fix things and they’ve addressed every other issue they’ve had and overcome it with solid players all I can do is hope they do the same thing for quarterback and offensive tackle.
But this is why we watch the games, football is an ever-changing sport and you must tweak your game week to week and nothing is guaranteed.
Let’s hope that the Cardinals organization can right the ship and play hard and get ourselves back into the playoffs because we all know how obnoxious 49er fans can be and we don’t need to hear from them any more than we have to.
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