Squinting to see Cardinals' QB timeline

The latest NFC West chat has come and gone, but it's not finished quite yet.

We're headed to overtime -- a chance to address questions that eluded us during the hour-long session.

Crawford from Glendale, Ariz., wants to know when the Arizona Cardinals will be most likely to name a starting quarterback.

"Do you see the Cards having one named by mid-preseason rather than typically at the end?" he asks.

Well, the Cardinals waited until Aug. 30, 2008, to name Kurt Warner the starter over Matt Leinart heading into that season. That was after the fourth preseason game, although ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported the expected decision several days earlier. There was no quarterback competition heading into the 2009 season, when Warner was firmly established in the No. 1 role. In 2010, Arizona moved Derek Anderson over Leinart as the starter on Aug. 27, after two preseason games. And then Kevin Kolb was the presumed starter during a lockout-condensed 2011 offseason.

I could see naming Kolb the starter a little early if he emerged as the clear favorite right away. But if there's little separation between the two, the team might be best off waiting longer. There's just no reason to pull the plug on Kolb prematurely, given all the money Arizona has invested in him.

Note: This is going to come as a great shock given the 20-20 hindsight that comes with the job, but I've got a routine eye exam scheduled for this afternoon, which means I need to bail for a while. I'll pick up with a couple more unanswered questions later in the day Thursday, eyes permitting.