After the Cardinals/Raiders game on Friday night, Oakland defensive tackle Tommy Kelly had some choice words for Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb. He felt that behind the offensive line, Kolb looked 'scared' and 'skittish', running out of the pocket to avoid taking sacks.
Kolb then came out the next day and absolutely refuted that notion. Basically, he stated that Kelly needs to get a clue before he starts running his mouth.
Not only was it great to see Kolb stand up for himself, but I couldn't agree with him more.
Here is what Kolb told Darren Urban, the official team writer for the Cardinals:
"Scared? Scared of what?" Kolb said. "Taking a hit? I have never been afraid of anyone on the field and that will never change. That includes Number 93 (Kelly). There's a fine line between holding in the pocket and trying to escape to make a play. Tommy Kelly is too clueless to know the difference. I don't mind people criticizing my play. Don't ever question my toughness."
Plenty have criticized the play of Kolb this offseason. After all that the Cards gave up to acquire him and the contract they handed him, he has not lived up to expectations. Many thought that he would undoubtedly be the starting quarterback by now, but that hasn't happened. Instead, it looks like his opponent, John Skelton is in the lead.
We can also question Kolb's durability. He has had multiple concussions during his time in the NFL and last season, he also got a case of turf toe. For that, he was only able to start nine games. In order to be the starting QB, he has to stay healthy first.
But as for his toughness, I am not going to go there. He has one of the worst pass blocking offensive lines in the league protecting him and the time that he gets to operate is less than sufficient. Of course he is going to be running out of the pocket more than the average quarterback. That is because he doesn't want to get injured or sacked for a loss of yards. I have seen him take some pretty nasty hits as a Cardinal (including one against the Raiders on Friday), yet he has stayed in the game.
So Kelly is wrong. Kolb is a tough guy. And the thing is, I like that Kelly opened his mouth without thinking. Maybe this can be the fuel that finally lights Kolb's fire.