Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 8/19/12

Kevin Kolb’s preseason struggles continued on Friday night against the Raiders, and the Cardinals quarterback even had to respond to accusations that he’s playing “scared.”

Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly ran off the field after tackling Kolb in the second quarter and said, “That boy’s scared,” according to Pro Football Talk.

Kelly elaborated after the game.

“He is skittish. He is scared back there,” Kelly told 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 playing attention to us and you ain’t going to get nothing done like that.”

Kolb, who has gone 5/15 for 47 yards, no touchdowns, one interception, and four sacks this preseason, didn’t appreciate being called scared.

“Scared? Scared of what?” Kolb said, according to the Cardinals website. “Taking a hit? I have never been afraid of anyone on the field and that will never change. That includes Number 93 (Kelly). There’s a fine line between holding in the pocket and trying to escape to make a play. Tommy Kelly is too clueless to know the difference. I don’t mind people criticizing my play. Don’t ever question my toughness.”

I don’t think Kelly was questioning Kolb’s toughness so much as he was saying the quarterback was too preoccupied with the Raiders defense to worry about anything else. That’s what happens when the pass rush overwhelms the offensive line — the quarterback becomes more focused on what’s coming after him rather than what passes he can complete. He’s probably right. Kolb has been a mess with Arizona and will likely lose the quarterback job to John Skelton. Arizona still needs a franchise QB.

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