Roster cuts for NFL teams is fast approaching and by Saturday the Cardinals must pare down their numbers to the final 53-man roster. The Arizona Cardinals have been, in a word, dynamic at the quarterback position since Kurt Warner's retirement after the 2009 season. Unfortunately, dynamic means "always changing" rather than explosive or exciting.
After a 2010 season that found Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton and Richard Bartel under center for Arizona, consistency has been returned through the acquisition of Kevin Kolb from the Philadlephia Eagles.
Kevin Kolb is the unquestioned starter for the Cardinals, bringing chemistry with Larry Fitzgerald and a strong arm to the mix. As the starter, Kolb looks to make his mark in the NFL with the first true starting opportunity of his career. In 2010, he was overrun by Michael Vick, losing his job while injured. There will be no such concern going into 2011.
For backups, John Skelton and Richard Bartel both seem destined to make the Cardinals 53-man roster. Skelton was a fifth round pick in 2010 and, while dealing with an ankle sprain suffered in the second preseason game, is my choice to be the backup quarterback going into 2011.
Bartel, a former UFL standout, has looked good during his preseason appearances and is an insurance policy should both Kolb and Skelton get injured. Against San Diego, Bartel completed 8 of his 10 pass attempts for 76 yards and a touchdown. Despite being against the bench players, Bartel has shown that he can compete under the right circumstances.
Next, we take a quick look at the quarterbacks who, baring a shocking surprise, will not be on the roster come Sunday.
Former Brigham Young star Max Hall was placed on the injured reserve this week after it was discovered that he would need season-ending surgery on his shoulder. Hall had previously been "waived-injured" and had cleared waivers. It was unlikely he would have beaten out Skelton or Bartel even if he hadn't injured his shoulder during the last week of training camp.
Replacing Hall on the depth chart was former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle, who doesn't figure to make the team. He has yet to make an appearance in preseason play, and is squarely behind Kolb, Skelton and Bartel on the depth chart.