August 17, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-US PRESSWIRE

Some QB Camp Battles Still not Settled

Arizona Cardinals – Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are playing a nice game of “hot potato” with the starting gig. “I don’t want it – YOU take it!” That seems to be the mantra in Glendale, Arizona in 2012. This is what happens when you spend a “Glob for Kolb” after 4 career starts on a highly talented team. You saw him at his best in Philly…they had all the pieces around him he needed. LT Jason Peters (pre-injury). RB Michael Westbrook (at the time). Targets like DeSean Jackson and rookie Jeremy Maclin, back in 2010. TE Brent Celek. Ironically the Cardinals have arguably a better pair of starting wideouts, pending rookie Michael Floyd producing anything…but it’s a tad difficult for a rookie WR to impact the game when that same QB is BEING impacted by defenders. After the game, Raiders’ DE Tommy Kelly expanded on his comment of “That boy is scared!” he was heard to be saying as he was coming off the field on 4th down. He basically said that whenever defenders closed in, Kolb would be looking at the officials instead of his hot receiver or checkdowns. If that’s the case, they’d be better off installing the wildcat as their ordinary offense. If I were the Arizona owner, I’d cut Kolb and move on. Suffice it to say, the Arizona Cardinals should be looking for a passer in the top 5 of next year’s draft. Skelton looks to win the job by default and Kolb will be gone by this time next year.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert is marginally improving from last season but still has a long way to go to be even a mediocre NFL starting QB. My feeling is that he never will, and Chad Henne might well be pulling the trigger as their starter if not in game one, sometime during the season. In reality, Gabbert probably will start on opening day. Young QBs CAN get 3-4 years to grow into the role if they show signs of improvement, but I still wonder if Gabbert has it in him, despite a good preseason so far. I hope for his sake that he does, but as things are going now, they’re going to have to bring in another young arm next spring and reset. It has been years since the Jags’ offense has scared anyone (except their own coaches) and Henne at least has experience as a starter but injuries in part kept him from showing the Miami Dolphins that he could be the guy. Speaking of the Dolphins…

Miami Dolphins – This team actually is one of the deepest teams in the NFL at quarterback. They have former Jaguars’ QB David Garrard, whom the Jags pulled yet another idiot move letting go…even if his back was bad last season. Jax wound up signing Miami’s old cast-off, the aforementioned Chad Henne, to back up and push Gabbert. Garrard’s chances of starting are close to zero now due to a freak injury sustained at home in his swimming pool. Matt Moore went an incredible 6-3 as a starter for a team that won only 7 games last year but has been having some trouble picking up the new system under Joe Philbin and Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman. Since rookie Ryan Tannehill’s college Head Coach WAS Mike Sherman, he has more athletic ability in his pinky finger than does Matt Moore, and has out-played Moore in the preseason, Tannehill looks to be the starter but nothing is official yet. In the loss against the Panthers, Moore only went 5-of-15 for 57 yards and Tannehill didn’t fare that much better with 11-of-23 for 100 yards. However, by my count, Tannehill had 4 passes batted down at the line and one dropped pass; he might’ve been 16 of 23. The o-line played atrocious football against the Panthers with 37 yards rushing the entire game and their longest rushing play was 8 yards. Both QBs had defenders in their faces much of the game, but Moore’s second-team played better against the Panther’s seconds than the firsts and firsts did. That’s not good news for whatever QB starts, but points even more to Tannehill starting opening day…he runs a 4.6-40 and one of the good things about him coming out of college was his ability to throw on the run. From what I’ve seen so far, whoever starts will be doing a lot of that and coach Philbin reiterated today that he hasn’t settled on a starter. The only case that can be made for Moore is that if Tannehill isn’t in there, he can’t get shell-shocked by an offensive line that has talent but hasn’t yet gelled.

Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker has taken the “old-school” path thus far, having been drafted in 2011 and sitting a year behind veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck. The first preseason game had Locker looking on track to possibly unseat Hasselbeck as planned, but a poor outing going 4-of-11 for 21 whole yards in their 30-7 win over Tampa Bay raised questions about his readiness to be a starter. That’s less than two yards per ATTEMPT. It’s pretty bad when a QB’s yds/att is a number even a running back would puke over if it were his rushing yards per attempt. Locker also did everything wrong you could possibly think of in throwing his interception…he rolled out, threw across his body, across the field (a top no-no), and off his back foot. A mobile quarterback with space in front of him did this. *cue DRAGNET theme song* DUMB!

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Blaine Gabbert David Garrard Jacksonville Jaguars Kevin Kolb Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans

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