Know Your Enemy: QB Kevin Kolb

Jun. 12, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb throws a pass during minicamp at the Cardinals practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Maybe one piece of consolation for Seahawks' fans as we continue to endure a three-way quarterback competition / controversy is that the division-rival Arizona Cardinals face similar uncertainties at the position. Making things possibly worse for Arizona is the king's ransom they gave up to acquire Kevin Kolb and he still remains a big question mark. Going into 2012 there appears to be a fairly even competition at the moment between Kolb and John Skelton, who came on in relief last season and outplayed Kolb at times when he missed time with concussions.

Similar to the Seahawks' QB competition, Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt has noted that the amount a player is making or the amount that was given up to acquire a player does not come into play when evaluating on the field, but in contrast to the situation in Seattle, Whiz readily admits he's hoping that Kolb will emerge as the starter.

"I'll be honest with you, I obviously know how much we invested in Kevin," he noted. "I want Kevin to be successful. I want him to be our quarterback but I'm not going to ignore the fact that John Skelton worked pretty hard and did a good job in there when he was playing, too. He's earned the right to compete for that spot."

I watched every one of Arizona's games from 2011 and my impression was that there's isn't a large gap between the two. There were times when Kolb looked like he'd be worth the significant investment Arizona made on him, particularly early in the season. I thought, in general, that Kolb looked a little more polished as a passer, something you might expect coming from the Andy Reid quarterback school, but on the other hand, there were times Skelton looked like the superior quarterback.

This was impressive and surprising, especially considering Skelton was a fifth round pick out of Fordham - he showed some poise and made a few plays outside of the pocket with improvisational skills, but he also seemed skittish at times (54% completion rate) and got picked off probably more than the coaching staff would have liked (11 TD to 14 interceptions). When Kolb was healthy, as they'd have hoped, he made some beautiful throws that connected with Larry Fitzgerald, and this happened often enough that it made/makes me worry a bit that he'd figure things out and be that 'franchise' guy. Ultimately though, the reason they're in the situation they are in down there in the desert is because he ultimately took too many sacks, failed to complete 60% of his passes, and ended up with 9 TD and 8 interceptions.

I'm sure a lot of Arizona fans might see things a little different than I do, and I'd certainly be interested to get their take. I didn't watch closely enough to make a real confident assessment, but those were just my initial impressions. I'd say as long as Kolb can put the concussions behind him he'll likely emerge as Arizona's starter, but Skelton helped the team wins some games last year and won some fans in the process, possibly among the coaching staff, so I doubt he's far behind. Regardless, it's something major to keep an eye on, and after the jump give Ron Jaworski's take of Kevin Kolb, who he ranked at #25 in the league among starting quarterbacks.

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