What the Raiders defensive end had to say about Kolb after Oakland's 31-27 loss to the Cardinals on Friday night probably hurt much worse.
He is skittish. He is scared back there. 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 paying attention to us and you ain't going to get nothing done like that.” -- Raiders defensive lineman Tommy Kelly on Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb
"He is skittish. He is scared back there," Kelly said. "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 paying attention to us and you ain't going to get nothing done like that."
Kolb is fighting John Skelton for the starting quarterback job, and his night was a mix of good and bad.
Naturally, he didn't take kindly to Kelly's words Saturday.
"Scared? Scared of what?" Kolb told AZCardinals.com. "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."
Skelton, meanwhile, made the most of a brief opportunity. He took just five snaps, but that was enough for him to throw the first touchdown pass for either quarterback candidate this preseason.
Skelton's 3-yard toss to a wide open Anthony Sherman was part of Arizona's 17-point second quarter.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt wasn't prepared to make any quarterback pronouncement.
"Not with only five plays for John," Whisenhunt said. "I think I'll have to get John some extended time this next week."
Skelton entered the game after Oakland fumbled the ball away at its 23. He completed 3 of 3 passes for 23 yards.
Whisenhunt said he didn't want the starting offensive line to play in the second half and he didn't want Skelton playing behind the backups.
Skelton said he understood, grudgingly.
"There's a little frustration but at the same time you kind of understand it," he said. "They want to give everyone an equal opportunity but at the same time you can't have the o-line in there for an extended period of time just to make everything equal. I kind of was a little mad about the decision but at the same time I understand it."
Kolb was 3 of 3 for 22 yards in Arizona's opening touchdown drive but was sacked by Kelly in the end zone on the Cardinals' next possession. He completed 3 of 6 passes and was sacked three times.
Raiders backup quarterback and former Cardinals starter Matt Leinart left the game in the third quarter with a cut on the index finger on his right (non-throwing) hand after he took a late hit from Arizona's Ricky Lumpkin, who was called for a personal foul on the play.
"We're going to get X-rays and see what happened, but we'll see what happens," Leinart said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.