Kevin Kolb’s debut as a Cardinal couldn’t have gone much better — 18-of-27 passing for 309 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His two scoring throws were impressive both physically — avoiding the blitz to buy time to get the ball to a wide-open Jeff King on the tight end’s 48-yard TD — and mentally — calmly but quickly hitting Early Doucet on an all-out blitz leading to Doucet’s 70-yard catch-and-run.
The quarterback is looking to adjust some parts of his game, however. One of them is staying in the pocket longer on certain plays — ironic in a way, since that was the thing everyone wondering if rookie Cam Newton was going to be able to do last week.
“There were a couple of times when he should have stayed in the pocket and made a throw,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “That’s getting the feel for his teammates and those live situations. They brought a number of different pressures and brought a couple of different defenses that you don’t prepare for because they hadn’t shown them. … Those are the things you have to work through.”
Kolb called the stay-in-the-pocket vs. move “a fine line.” “There were absolutely a couple plays where I got out too quick and didn’t trust the protection,” Kolb said. “We also made plays when we got out and moved. Again, there is a give and take. But I have to trust the line to do the job and when it’s time to make a play with my feet, I will do that.”
Staying in the pocket doesn’t necessarily mean staying still. Moving up in the pocket at times can help, and can also help the offensive linemen shield off their pass rushers a little longer.
Most games, a quarterback is going to have at least a couple of pocket decisions that probably should go the other way, but “there are two or three games a year where you always do the right thing and the timing is in your head,” Kolb said. “The more time I get with these guys, the more confidence we get as a unit and we will keep rolling.”
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb
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