Coach Ken Whisenhunt said before the Cardinals’ second preseason game Friday night in Kansas City that he wanted to see progress.
Well, Kevin Kolb didn’t get hurt. Does that qualify as progress?
It was tough to find other positive signs. Despite the return of safety Adrian Wilson and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to the lineup, the Cardinals defense tackled poorly for a second straight week and failed to get off blocks.
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The Chiefs rolled up 225 yards of offense in the first half and scored touchdowns on their first two possessions before starting quarterback Matt Cassel and most of the starters took a seat.
The Cardinals offense crossed midfield just once with starter John Skelton or Kolb at the helm. Skelton completed 3 of 7 passes for 35 yards and tossed an ugly interception. Kolb was just 1 for 5 (receiver DeMarco Sampson should have had one but dropped it) and was on the run again due to shaky protection.
Yeah. This was pretty much a wire-to-wire letdown.
“I don’t have very good impressions about our team right now,” Whisenhunt told Jody Jackson at halftime. “We didn’t do well enough in any phase of our game.”
We won’t dignify the Ryan Lindley fans with much discussion here, but at least the club saw some positive signs from a potential quarterback of the future (i.e., not now). Lindley went 6 of 11 for 48 yards and led the Cards on two scoring drives, including a field goal out of the two-minute offense late in the first half.
“He moved the ball and we got down there and got three points in 32 or 38 seconds, whatever it was,” Whisenhunt said. “He did a nice job.”
As for the two main QB competitors, this round was a sad draw, with neither player showing anything that would lead to confidence in their ability to run the offense.
“We have to start faster. We came out slow, a little lackadaisical,” said Skelton, who admitted to calling an incorrect play in the huddle. “We can’t do that, especially after our defense was on the field for an extended drive like that. We just have to find a way to start faster.”
It’s important to remember that this is the preseason, so what we see here will bear little resemblance to what we see in the regular season.
But at some point, Kolb or Skelton will need to step up and earn the job. With both likely to see more playing time the next two weeks against the Raiders and Titans the opportunity will be there. But neither has earned the right to start thus far, and if Kolb doesn’t change minds with a decent performance in the next two weeks, all that money and capital the Cards invested in him won’t matter when he’s donning a ball cap on the bench.
“We need our quarterback competition to get locked up,” guard Daryn Colledge said. “We’ve got a couple things we need to fix these next three games.”