When Kevin Kolb went down with an injury in a week 6 loss to the Bills, many NFL pundits were hoping, pleading, and in some rare cases begging the Cardinals brass to find a suitable replacement via free agency or trade. I just so happen to be one of those who was begging, and with Skelton losing his job to Lindley, us beggars sure are looking good now.
As I watched the Cardinals throughout the preseason, and Kolb looked just as bad this year as he did last, I was one of many that thought Skelton should get the nod as the starter. There was a lot to like out of the 5th round pick from Fordham. He’s tall, he seemed to always have a way of getting the ball to Fitzgerald, he seemed more confident than Kolb, and he had a cannon of an arm. He also had a 6-2 record as a starter last season, beating power houses like the 49ers, and Eagles along the way to a strong finish for the Cardinals. His success last season, was starting to look like it might carry over to this season. Then he got hurt. Kolb regained his confidence, and looked like the quarterback the Cardinals were hoping they had traded for, and never looked back going 4-1 this season. Then he got hurt.
Following the injury to Kolb, a combination of ridiculously good defense and the fact that Skelton was slated to be the starter to begin the season, gave the Cardinals some sort of false hope that he could keep their promising 2012 campaign on the right path. Well, that didn’t work out now did it? The Cardinals lost 4 straight with Skelton at the helm, and just like that their playoff hopes were all but gone. Now they turn to a 6th round pick rookie. Oh joy.
Worst of all, is there were options aplenty at the time of Kolb’s injury. The trade deadline hadn’t passed, and (although I might have been laughed at, for pointing these free agents out as candidates at the time) McNabb, Garrard, Kafka, and Hoyer were all available. Tell me any one of those isn’t a better option than Lindley, or Skelton.
I have gone on record as being the QB apologist of all time. I defended Wilson before he got hot, I made a case for Kaepernick before he took a run at the starting job, and I praised Smith after he almost set a completion record. Hell, maybe I just understand the position. Anyways, the excuses just aren’t there for Skelton or Lindley. They have a perennial 1,000 yard receiver in Larry Fitzgerald. They have several complementary pieces in Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, and this year’s first round draft pick Michael Floyd. They have a rushing attack that is far from amazing, but one you can certainly get by with. Granted, the offensive line is terrible, but you can’t always have your cake and eat it too. Who knows if any of the aforementioned free agents, or somebody brought in by trade could have kept the Cards season alive, but management should have known that Skelton couldn’t have, and they are now reaping what they sow. The Cardinals are long overdue for drafting a quarterback, and it looks like Skelton might have just secured them the high pick they desperately need to get a good one.