Kolb an upgrade, but plenty of room to grow

Kevin Kolb (Getty)

Kevin Kolb has been an upgrade over the Cardinals' QBs from last season but still has plenty of room to improve.

Quarterback Kevin Kolb has been an upgrade over the Cardinals' personnel from last season, and he gives the club hope for the future.

But he has a ton of room for improvement, too.

Kolb's biggest struggle seems to be his awareness of the pocket. He's leaving early when he should stay, and he hasn't done a good job of moving a few steps to buy more time.

The biggest reason for that, said coaches, is that Kolb is new to this offense and isn't comfortable enough yet in reading the defense.

"I think the No. 1 thing is we're asking him to do some things in our offense that he hasn't done before, as far as reads and checks and those kinds of things," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "I don't know the degree of what he did in Philadelphia, but it's different, would be a better way to say it. It takes time. You look back now and say I would love to have those three months of the offseason where you could work through these and get those reps.

"I'm not trying to compare the two, but I remember when Aaron Rodgers took over for Brett Favre. I think they went 8-8 that year and there was a process that the team had to get him prepared and he had to get comfortable with the offense, even though he had been in that system for a number of years. It takes some time."

In some West Coast systems, the quarterback doesn't have sight adjustments to make on routes or "hot" reads in case there are blitzes. It's unknown if that was the case with the Eagles, but Cardinals coaches know they are asking a lot of Kolb, who didn't have the benefit of an offseason.

He has sight adjustments and hot reads to make, and he almost always comes to scrimmage a run-pass option.

Center Lyle Sendlein helps with protection calls, but Kolb is being asked to process a lot without the benefit of preparation time.

Still, there are no excuses for some of the mistakes he's make. For instance, he made a poor decision that led to an interception late in the loss to Seattle.

And last week against the Giants, Kolb took a 10-yard sack on second-and-one. A screen pass was called and was wide open. But Kolb never got rid of the ball and the Cardinals were not able to convert on a first down in Giants territory.

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