Your child is in second grade and he or she has a first year teacher. The first few months have been a challenge for the young and talented teacher as she was hired just weeks before the start of the semester and has had to learn on the job while the students have had to adjust to their new learning environment. Just seven weeks into the school year the teacher injures her foot and has to miss two days for doctors appointments. During that time the substitute teacher struggles to keep the classroom under control except for the very end of class both days. Despite her struggles, scores on homework and tests increase in the teachers absence.
When the teacher is healthy enough to return to work would you instead replace her with the substitute teacher? Of course not. It would be a knee jerk overreaction.
So why when you replace the teacher with Kevin Kolb and the substitute teacher with John Skelton are Cardinals fans ready to abandon the new signal caller in favor of one that they’ve seen struggle?
The answer is simple. Some fans were never in favor of Kolb since the idea of trading for him emerged. They preferred the idea of trading for another quarterback or drafting one.
When Kolb struggled in a new system, in a new city and behind a less than average offensive line, those fans were more than happy to voice their displeasure. His injury two weeks ago provided them with their opportunity to try and push him out the door.
Despite the fact that John Skelton struggled these fans sited his moxy -- yeah, I know, that word conjures up images of and the stomach sickness caused by Max Hall for me too -- and presence in the pocket. What they fail to realize is that the team’s defense and special team’s were as much the reason for the Cards success as the second year quarterback.
That’s not to completely discredit Skelton’s effort. He did lead one quality touchdown drive in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles. That is if you count throwing bounce passes like an NBA point guard off the finger tips of defensive backs and into the waiting hands of Larry Fitzgerald quality quarterbacking.
Kolb has had his struggles in the early part of the season but a special (teams) win against one of the worst teams in the NFL -- that included two horrible safeties by Skelton -- and an ugly victory against a not so dream team isn’t reason to give up on the young quarterback. The franchise has invested in him as the future and you don’t throw that away based on a whim. Especially when that quarterback of the future has only had a few months in the system, an abbreviated training camp and no offseason at all to prepare.
Cardinals fans have fallen for the substitute teacher in the past. If you don’t believe me go back and look at Josh McCown, Stoney Case, John Navarre, Max Hall, John Skelton (twice) oh and Richard Bartell too.
Every football fan’s favorite person is the backup quarterback and every school kid’s favorite is the substitute teacher. In both cases though, that doesn’t mean they’re right. Sometimes the students and the fans don’t know what’s best.