August 12, 2012
From the Cheap Seats
Arizona Cardinals – Pre-season Game #2
The Arizona Cardinals just completed the second pre-season game in Kansas City losing to the Chiefs 27-17. It was a fairly lack-luster performance all the way around, the offense looked terrible and the defense continued their inability to make tackles and stop any sort of running play.
I know that this is pre-season and offensive and defensive schemes are minimal but that is pretty much what the other teams are dealing with as well, yet they seem to have had no problem stopping the Cardinals on offense and had had their way with them on defense.
But I am not one to press the panic button yet and I am patient enough to trust Coach Wiz in dealing with these normal issues. But clearly Coach Wiz isn’t happy either based on the TV interviews he’s done. But like always, I am not here to crank out another article like so many others do at this time of year, micro-managing the Cardinals performance, but I am going to give you my view From the Cheap Seats.
The major question going into training camp has been the quarterback competition between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. So far after our second pre-season game it’s clear that both guys are sorely lacking. I just got done watching the news to see rookie and #1 draft pick Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts just get done lighting up the St. Louis Rams defense in his first game as a pro. I’m not going to give you any stats about his performance for two reasons. First off, his performance looked so good it made me puke, secondly his numbers in one half has exceeded all the passing numbers of Kolb and Skelton combined for the 2 pre-season games so far and that’s depressing to me.
So here’s what I see. Kevin Kolb, who I was strongly in favor of as the starter for the Cardinals has come out with unimpressive numbers and gets injured the second series of plays, he made it through the first series of plays because he threw an interception on the first play of the game that even Stevie Wonder could see coming. Coming into this season my main concern was with Kolb’s concussion history and how vulnerable it makes his this season. I feel for the guy because he’s just trying to make a living and he is a competitor and wants to do well. But he has clearly demonstrated that he is not stepping up to take the starters position, enter John Skelton.
Skelton lovers who have been clamoring for him to assume the starting role by booing Kevin Kolb at every turn got their chance to see him shine were caught grasping at straws with his performance by hyping the 3-6, and 35 yard, with 1 int. performance in Kansas City. I didn’t realize that those sort of stats merited praise much less the starting position in the NFL. So what does that leave us at this point in the pre-season? Not a whole heck of a lot. Coach Wiz is going to let this thing run its course and see where we stand in a few more weeks.
Meanwhile, my view from the cheap seats has produced yet another option for the Cardinals, rookie QB Ryan Lindley out of San Diego State University. Lindley’s numbers in the first 2 games of this pre-season are far and away better than the other 2 QB’s ahead of him. Lindley started this camp in the #4 spot behind Bartel but passed him after one pre-season game. Lindley’s presence in the pocket was very impressive for a second game and one must ask if Lindley continues to shine and the other 2 QB’s continue their subpar performance, how soon will this become a 3 horse race?
I realize that Lindley is a rookie and he’s going up against 2nd and 3rd string players but in the same turn, he’s playing with the same type players. I believe that Lindley would look even better throwing to the first string players. Many Cardinal fans feel that this is just a 2 man competition but bottom line is that neither of those 2 QB’s have a long history as a starting QB in college or the pro’s. So it’s not like they have the upper hand in anything. Many people quote Skelton’s 5-2 mark as a starter last year but even if one overlooks the last minute heroics of Patrick Peterson and Calais Campbell to win games for us that had nothing to do with Skelton’s efforts, Skelton still hasn’t shown much difference from last year, average numbers with too many picks.
Kolb’s health and Skelton’s decision making leaves Cardinal fans with a lot of unanswered questions and a very uneasy feeling if we play the “what if” game. What if Kolb gets injured, what if Skelton doesn’t improve any further than he is now? How soon could Wiz pull the trigger on Lindley who has outplayed them to this point? Cardinal fans just want to get behind a winner and the QB position for the Cardinals is the single most important spot on this roster, yet it has the most question marks behind it.
So Coach, if you’re reading this we’re all pulling for ya but Ryan Lindley has my vote for starting QB for the Cardinals. He’s been fearless and not afraid of stretching the field for longer yardage. Yeah he’s a rookie but it’s not like he’s going up against some Hall of Famers. You cannot overlook 3+ years as a starter in college running a pro-style offense at SDSU. I’d give this thing one more week and if our top 2 QB’s continue to look subpar, screw their ego’s and contracts and throw Lindley in the mix. I think he’ll answer the call myself, leaders usually do!
That’s my view From the Cheap Seats anyways!
Let me know what you think of this article or the QB controversy by leaving a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your continued support!