Sunday, quarterback Kevin Kolb said he felt like he was making progress. Monday, coach Ken Whisenhunt said the progress is there in some places. In other places, not enough — like Kolb and his footwork.
Footwork means a lot of things to a quarterback, from his depth of drops to his balance while throwing. It’s the latter Whisenhunt wants to see improve.
“In this league, you have to be able to throw the ball from all kinds of different angles,” Whisenhunt said. “You see guys do that all the time. But he’s getting his body in bad position because of his footwork and that’s what we have to change. A lot of those plays where he’s running out of the pocket are because of his footwork and we have to get that corrected. He has to step up in the pocket and make some of those throws.”
Whisenhunt said the missed throw to tight end Rob Housler “was purely a footwork thing.” Kolb’s footwork was good on plays like the dump pass to The Hyphen for the 73-yard touchdown (pictured below) and the deep pass to Larry Fitzgerald for 31 yards. When Whisenhunt sees plays like the latter, he believes Kolb can emerge as the kind of quarterback the Cardinals seek.
Whiz clearly didn’t want to single out Kolb for a lack of progress, even when asked directly about Kolb’s progress thus far. “I don’t think anybody is progressing at the rate we need to go forward,” Whisenhunt said. “I think you’re naive if you say that.”
Kolb’s lone interception came on a protection mistake by the interior line, “which is unacceptable.” On the safety, the Steelers ended up with a different front than expected for the situation. The Steelers had five men at the line of scrimmage — two standup outside linebackers, three down linemen — and at the snap, the right outside man dropped into coverage. The line blocked the way it was supposed to, although it left linebacker LaMarr Woodley coming off the edge free. Certainly it wasn’t ideal, but Kolb needed to recognize the play and get rid of the ball.
The reason offensive coordinator Mike Miller was on the sideline for the first time Sunday was to allow for better communication with the quarterback too. “As much time as Mike and Kevin spend during the week … he gives (plays) to him on the practice field,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s the thinking with that. We’re trying to make him more comfortable.”
(And no, don’t expect a quarterback change. John Skelton was elevated to second-string Sunday, but Whisenhunt said the Cards just wanted him 100 percent healthy from his ankle sprain, which Skelton has been for a while, actually. Post-bye was an easy time to swap them.)
After each loss, it’s been popular for the “If the Cards keep losing and get the No. 1 pick, do they pick Luck?” question. Way too early to ask. That’s a December question or even January, after they have worked with Kolb for a season. Now? Premature is an understatement.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Mike Miller
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