We should want Kevin Kolb to win Cardinals QB job
Kolb had never proven himself to be anything more than a backup, and I felt the team was set to give up way too much in terms of assets and money for a player whose numbers and history did not exactly scream "long-term starter."
I was right.
But as Kolb enters his second training camp with the Cardinals -- and first after an entire offseason of work with the team -- I'm reminded of a line from the movie A Few Good Men, where Col. Jessep (played by Jack Nicholson) is being interrogated, and just before he's about to fall apart and incriminate himself, says:
"You want me on that wall; you need me on that wall."
Cardinals fans may not need Kolb under center, but they do want him there.
When the Cardinals traded Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second round pick for the right to sign Kolb to a five-year, $63 million contract, they telling all of us that their coaching staff, scouts and management team all thought the then-26-year-old was a franchise signal caller, and was the right guy to lead the team going forward.
A whiff on Kolb would not leave the Cardinals in as bad shape as they were in two years ago, when Derek Anderson was named the starter and Matt Leinart was shown the door, because at least now the team has a better backup than Max Hall. However, even though John Skelton is a viable alternative who could prove to be a good NFL QB, Kolb losing the starting job after just one season would be a bad look for the entire organization.
Sure, season one did not go according to plan, though many blame a lack of comfort for the QB's problems. That likely contributed to his issues -- as did struggles with injury -- and now, healthy and with a complete offseason under his belt, Kolb's chance to make a stand is right here, right now.
Everyone knows it.
Which is why, of course, most feel the competition between the two quarterbacks is a little slanted; it has to be. As much as Coach Whisenhunt would like to say it's an open competition, the truth is things would be much easier for everyone if Kolb emerges as the clear-cut choice over the next few weeks.
Something similar could have been said in 2008, when you better believe everyone was hoping the younger Matt Leinart would outplay the veteran Kurt Warner, thereby giving the Cardinals their QB of the present and future. He didn't, the team went to the Super Bowl behind Warner, and now is back in the same situation, minus the seemingly über-qualified candidates.
That fact isn't lost on the players.
"The dynamics were totally different," Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "Matt was the Heisman Trophy winner, high draft pick, coming in with all the hoopla, and Kurt was your Super Bowl MVP, two-time league MVP, did he still have enough in the tank to get it done?
"This one is kind of different because both the guys, they're not household names, so to speak."
Clearly this wasn't the plan, as Kolb was supposed to establish himself as a capable starter last season and head into camp the unquestioned leader of a playoff team this summer, not locked in a battle with a former fifth-round pick out of Fordham.
But that's exactly the situation Kolb finds himself in, and while there are undoubtedly Skelton supporters among the fanbase and in the locker room, the truth is we should all be rooting for Kolb to win the job.