2012 Arizona Cardinals Preview: John Skelton Takes Early Lead in QB Competition

Mike MayContributor IAugust 6, 2012

Skelton delivers a pass Sunday vs the New Orleans Saints in the Hall of Fame Game
Skelton delivers a pass Sunday vs the New Orleans Saints in the Hall of Fame GameTim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Kevin Kolb's second season as an Arizona Cardinal got off to an ominous start Sunday. On his first pass of 2012, anyone and everyone watching saw Kolb lock in on Andre Roberts on an out route, including the defense of the New Orleans Saints.

Three of the major knocks on Kolb were all very boldly pronounced on Sunday; not looking off the defenders, not stepping up in the pocket and, last but certainly not least, prone to injury.

On what was seemingly a routine take down in the end zone, Kolb was forced to leave the game with a rib contusion, completely overshadowing what was otherwise a very good play by Kolb.

To add fuel to speculation that began at the beginning of training camp, Kolb then shunned a friendly hand slap attempt by John Skelton as he jogged onto the field. Now, while I personally think that was a bit overblown, it certainly won't help Kolb's perception.

Skelton looked solid, going 4-of-6 for 32 yards. I thought overall he looked good in the pocket, has good presence, command of the huddle, as well as the ability to make some throws that not all NFL quarterbacks can make, including a completed pass throwing across his body. More importantly, Skelton stays in the pocket, steps up and delivers the football.

While I'm not ready to “endorse” any particular quarterback just yet, I think it's fair to say Skelton has the early lead.

Besides the ability to stay healthy, which is a pretty important trait to have behind an inconsistent offensive line, my other concern is that perhaps John Skelton is simply better built for this offense than Kevin Kolb.

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While I fully believe in giving Kolb every opportunity to be the guy, I think it's fair to say we're at the two minute warning, with Skelton in the lead.