With an exhibition opener to play Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals followed NFL protocol by distributing their standard pregame information packet to media covering the team.
These packets include depth charts. Depth charts include projections.
In the Cardinals' case, that meant listing a starting quarterback before the team has decided on its starter for the regular season.
Kevin Kolb received top billing and presumably will get first crack with the No. 1 offense in the Hall of Fame Game against New Orleans.
Designating the highly paid Kolb as the backup, even on paper, would subtly undercut him heading into the preseason. Reading such a sentence would probably make coach Ken Whisenhunt cringe; he's never worried much about quarterbacks' feelings on these matters. But there's no sense in rubbing Kolb's nose in the fact that John Skelton is being given a chance to compete for the job. The job should be Kolb's to lose until he loses it, which he clearly has not done to this point in the process.
Kolb's contract will force the team to make a decision on his status after the 2012 season. It's important for the team to find out for sure whether Kolb can be the quarterback Arizona thought it was getting by trade last offseason.
Kolb was the starter entering last season, losing the job to injury. Skelton showed some promise without winning the job outright. This should be a fun competition to document. I'll be heading to Canton for the game Sunday and watching in particular to see whether Kolb makes a positive impression, and what Whisenhunt has to say about his quarterbacks.