Kevin Kolb thinks he is progressing as the Cardinals' starting quarterback, although few of the team's fans would agree with him.
The Cardinals have lost five consecutive games, and Kolb continues to struggle with accuracy. In Sunday's loss to the Steelers, he missed tight end Rob Housler for what probably would have been a touchdown, and he missed Larry Fitzgerald for a potential big gain.
"It's hard to explain to you guys, but the operation of the huddle and the operation of getting the guys in the right spots, getting motions down, getting the shifts, all that stuff was better," he said. "I kept telling the line, 'You guys can't see it, but we've got guys open on the back end.' And that was everybody. They were beating guys man to man."
Maybe, but Kolb didn't do a good enough job of hitting them.
In the second quarter, he had Housler wide open down the hash mark. It should have been an easy throw, but Kolb's pass was several yards off the mark. A touchdown would have tied the game at 7. Instead, the Cardinals punted, the Steelers scored jump ahead 14-0.
It's been a continuing problem for Kolb, who hasn't played as well over the past month as he did in the first two games of the season.
He appears uncomfortable in the pocket and unsure of when to stay and when to run.
His talents are obvious. Kolb is tough, has a decent arm and runs well. He loves football and works hard.
It appears, however, that he has a hard time relaxing enough in a game to make the necessary throws.
"It's not all Kevin's fault," Fitzgerald said. "I wouldn't say that he's lost any confidence or anything like that. We all can improve."
But Kolb must play better if the Cardinals are going to emerge from their 1-5 start. Beginning this week against Baltimore, four of the next five games are on the road.
Arizona team is still playing hard, but doubt has be entering the players' minds due to the losing streak.
"I never allow that to happen," Fitzgerald said. "I don't allow stinkin' thinkin' to set in. We haven't had great success for years, but we can't allow that to get into our minds."