Opponent On Kolb: ‘He Is Scared Back There’

It’s hard to imagine things getting much worse for Kevin Kolb.

The former Eagles second-round pick didn’t do much last night to make his case for being the Cardinals’ starting quarterback, going 3-for-6 for 22 yards. Kolb completed his first three passes as Arizona scored on its opening possession, but then things went downhill. He was sacked three times, including once in the end zone, for a safety. The offensive line deserves criticism too, but Kolb is now 5-for-15 for 47 yards, no touchdowns and an interception in the preseason.

To make matters worse, Kolb’s opponents are now ripping him. According to reports, Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly came off the field last night saying, “That boy’s scared.” Kelly didn’t back down when asked about Kolb after the game.

“He is skittish. He is scared back there,” Kelly said, per the Associated Press. “Anytime anybody gets close to him, he starts looking at the refs. As a defensive lineman you love a quarterback like that. He ain’t even trying to look at the routes no more. He is paying attention to us and you ain’t going to get nothing done like that.”

Analysts will often talk about quarterbacks’ eye level – the need to stay focused on what’s happening downfield, rather than what’s happening at the line of scrimmage. Kelly seems to be pointing that out as a major issue for Kolb.

John Skelton, meanwhile, played just one series, going 3-for-3 for 23 yards and a touchdown.

Writes Kent Somers, beat writer for The Arizona Republic:

Arguments can be made for and against both quarterbacks. But there is no doubt the Cardinals have played better with Skelton leading them.

At this point, all signs point to Kolb opening the season on the bench for the first time since 2009.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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