The Arizona Cardinals recently finished up with a quarterback competition, one that divided and frustrated a fan base while failing to produce a clear-cut starter.
Let’s hope the team soon enters into a full-fledged quarterback controversy.
From the moment Kevin Kolb stepped onto the field to a chorus of boos from some not-thinking-straight Cardinals fans to when he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Andre Roberts, everyone had to be wondering something:
If Kevin Kolb plays well, will he keep the starting job upon John Skelton’s return to health?
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has pretty much ducked the question this week, and understandably so.
“I don’t even know why that would be a question,” the coach said. “I can’t look into the future and say what’s going to happen six weeks from now. I can only tell you that we’ll see what happens with John and how quickly he gets back health-wise.”
The perfect response.
Skelton did not exactly play great before his injury, and is not an established starter who deserves to get his job back as soon as he’s ready. He may have won the training camp and preseason battle, but that only meant he’d start Week 1, not Week 1-17.
Furthermore, here would be no benefit to Whisenhunt making a decision on this one way or another before he absolutely has to. Hell, the decision may end up being made for him by the time he has to make a call.
Kolb could step up and become the QB the team hoped he’d be, or he could fall flat on his face. While the latter option is probably the most likely (Kolb did lose the preseason competition for a reason), the results will truly dictate where Whisenhunt has to go.
Whisenhunt has always been the type of coach who does not want to see a player “lose his job to injury.” Whether it was Matt Leinart in 2008 or Kolb just last season, no matter how well the replacement played, the previous starter was either given a chance to win the job back, like Leinart in 2008, or simply just given the job (Kolb).
So if history is any indication Skelton will have every opportunity to take his job back once he’s healthy enough to do so.
But he’ll only be able to do that if Kolb lets him.
The job is once again Kolb’s to lose. Little has changed in the “we should hope Kolb wins the job” narrative because he’s still the guy the team gave up a lot for and still the guy we should all want to see lead the team.
With Skelton likely out the next 2-4 weeks, the most expensive QB on the roster will have every opportunity to prove his head coach made a mistake going with Skelton to begin with.
For the Cardinals’ sake, let’s hope he does exactly that.