Let's be honest guys. Kevin Kolb's 2012 preseason debut couldn't have gone much worse.
Okay, I take that back. The only way it could have been worse is if he was hit by an asteroid as he was being assisted off the field following his chest injury...on only his fourth drop back.
Kolb's performance was simply nightmarish, getting his first pass intercepted by safety Malcolm Jenkins when he tossed a floater in Andre Roberts' direction. Kolb would continue his skittish ways with two more lackadaisical throws before completing his first pass of the day when he finally showed some much desired arm strength and made a nice four yard completion on the run. Unfortunately, that'd be the last pass he'd complete before the aforementioned "rib contusion."
To continue this big ol' cosmic joke, John Skelton came in and showcased everything Kolb lacked: durability, velocity and confidence.
The lanky third-year signal caller took every advantage of his opportunity, showing an impressive fearlessness and improvising with his arm angles in a collapsing pocket. While the results were nothing too spectacular (4-6, 32 yards), Skelton did manage to lead the Cards on their only touchdown drive of the season before being pulled.
But before we jump to conclusions and begin lobbying to put the former fifth-round pick permanently at the helm, let's reevaluate a few things. So yes, please put down your torch and pitchfork and follow me through the jump.
The Cardinals offensive line was clearly out of sync in the early going. There's no doubt Kolb didn't handle the pressure well, but Skelton didn't look like anything special in his first two attempts before the big men in front of him settled in.
In all fairness, this isn't a criticism about that unit. It's fairly common for film-lacking offenses to struggle in the preseason when defensive coordinators decide to get creative (or contentiously aggressive in the Saints case).
The point I'm trying to make here is that even though Skelton did his damage against the same first teamers, Kolb didn't seem to be dealt an even hand as the entire offense looked baffled at times with the Saints schemes catching them off guard.
At the same time, Kolb didn't separate himself from his porcelain doll reputation with his quick exit.
Of course it was smart to pull the 62 million dollar glass man at the first sign of injury with it being only a meaningless exhibition match but that only opened the gates to allow Skelton to gain major trust points with his fellow teammates.
In his approximately eight minutes of game action, Skelton routinely took shots that would have left Kevin Kolb laying on his back like Vince Vaughn in "Wedding Crashers." That, doubled with an acute ability to be flexible with his delivery made him the easy candidate to root for in the early going.
But while I still believe that grisly creativity is exactly what the Arizona offense needs with their forgiving play-makers like Larry Fitzgerald, just realize that Skelton hasn't jumped too far ahead following one audition.
It's a well-known fact that Ken Whisenhunt and company desperately would love nothing more than for Kolb to win the job and justify the loot they traded to get him. As sad as that is, it's undeniable that Kolb will be given every chance to make up that ground during the next four preseason games.
At this pace though, Kolb better hope that injury isn't too severe because he has far more to prove to his teammates than Skelton does. And he can start by learning to reciprocate a handshake from a friendly competitor.