Kolb’s learning curve

Posted by Darren Urban on August 17, 2011 – 12:27 pm

Kevin Kolb was blunt: He has no doubt he will understand the offense and be comfortable with it by the time the Cardinals host Carolina in the regular-season opener.

But the quarterback isn’t to that point. Not yet.

“After the game we came back to our first practice and I felt totally comfortable,” Kolb said. “Then came the next onslaught of installs and plays. My mind got a little twisted for a couple of days. That’s part of the process. … I wouldn’t say I am chasing my tail, but I’m not on top of everything yet.”

Kolb said there is a difference between the offenses of the Cards and the Eagles, his former team, but it isn’t as big of a jump as he could have made had he ended up elsewhere. The verbiage and protections are different, and he said the Eagles had gotten to a point with their receiver personnel that they would often just take shots downfield, whereas the Cards look at themselves as a “true progression team” and spreading the ball around.

“Different days we struggle,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “(Tuesday) we put a lot of things in and it was new concepts, new terminology. Just when you start to feel good, you throw more at him. That clouds the whole picture. … But he’s done a very good job. I think as we start to get into more specific plays and gameplanning, he will have enough of a base that he will feel good about it.”

Whisenhunt said when he was playing, he went from an offense similar to what the Cards run now to a West Coast offense, and he struggled with it. “You had to hear the play and associate it with what you knew, and try and execute it from that standpoint,” Whisenhunt said. “That takes time.”

Whiz compared it to learning Spanish as an English speaker. Eventually, a person starts to hear words in Spanish instead of translating in the head. The same will go for Kolb and the new offense. Kolb said he needs to get reps of the plays on the field, and that’s the most important part right now.

Kolb’s language problem isn’t English but it is the verbiage. He joked that he’ll be watching video with Larry Fitzgerald and suggest running a “pirate” route on a certain look — except it was the Eagles who used the “pirate” and not the Cards, who call it an “under.” “The only way to do it is to be thrown in the fire and hear other guys talking about it,” Kolb said.

The time it is taking Kolb is certainly not from a lack of effort. He said he is thinking football all the time. “My sleep up here has not been very scheduled,” Kolb said. “It’s just because, one bad throw, one bad series, you start laying in bed and you can’t get it out of your mind. That can be a good and bad thing. You just have to learn how to deal with it.”

That will come as he gets more comfortable. That’s what this time is for.

— Whisenhunt said he could see Kolb playing into the second quarter Friday, but nothing will be finalized probably until Friday morning as the Cards assess the roster and their injuries.

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Posted in Blog | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Kolb’s learning curve”

  1. By tom watson on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Dan in a previous post you said that Bartel and Hall were not eligible for the practice team, could you explain why?

  2. By Darren Urban on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Tom —

    RE: Practice squad

    I assume you are talking to me, but the name is not Dan.

    Both Bartel and Hall have too many years of service/games active to be eligible anymore.

  3. By CaliCard on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, a question about the defense. I read conflicting reports about Dan Williams progress, what are Cardinal insiders saying about him?

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    CaliCard —

    RE: Dan Williams

    They need more from him. It doesn’t get any more blunt than that.

  5. By MikeFlorio on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    After we lock up Fitz with a huge contract,
    Any news on the cards looking at T.O. ????

  6. By Darren Urban on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    MikeFlorio —

    RE: Owens

    The Cards won’t be getting T.O.

  7. By Kurt on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply


    Dan is a good name

  8. By Chris R on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Tim –

    In a previous post you asked Darren (incorrectly called Dan) about why Hall and Bartel are not eligible for the practice team. He has explained why again and has done so numerous times over and over again.

    Pleased to make your acquaintance Tim.. but let’s not bother Darren with silly repetitive questions please.

  9. By JT on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    -“Whiz compared it to learning Spanish as an English speaker. Eventually, a person starts to hear words in Spanish instead of translating in the head.”-

    WHAT!? why with all KK has to learn is Whiz giving Kolb Spanish lessons!!!!

    Heh, No, really I just wanted to give props to Coach Whiz for using such a terrific analogy there. What a perfect correlation that is between the ears, learning the calls with learning a new language. I always see these kind of examples that make Coach Whiz a great “players” coach. Whiz just seems to be able to have a really good understanding on each of his players.

  10. By Scharf on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply


    lol… T.O…

  11. By MIKE G on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Nice article on Kolb’s learning curve. That is my biggest concern about Kolb. In Philly he ran a west coast offense under Andy Reid. Here they
    run a more vertical passing game. I hope he can be productive with the Cardinal offense. Also I question whether he can take a tough hit in the pocket. I just hope he gradually improves with each start. How much of a concern is it that the Card’s don’t have a veteran backup QB?????

  12. By Darren Urban on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Backup QBs

    I think they are hoping Kolb stays healthy. If he doesn’t, you’re in trouble anyway.

  13. By RW on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Good luck to Kevin Kolb out in Arizona. He wasn’t in a good situation with eagles. I’ve seen him play in college and in philly and nobody works harder to win.

  14. By Andre on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, David Carter is listed as 6’5″ not 6 Feet. I think there’s an error in your newest article.

  15. By Darren Urban on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    Andre —

    RE: Carter

    Thanks for the heads-up

  16. By georgiebird on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    I was amused to see that Josh McCown has been picked up by the 49ers. The 49ers probably still remember the great games McCown played as a Card.. McCown destroyed SF with games not even Warner couldn’t replicate.

  17. By Javi on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    but if the cards dont get TO then what widereciever will they get in FA?

  18. By Eric on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply


  19. By John the draft guy on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Well said.

    Chris R
    Why so harsh? This board is loaded with the same question again and again. Look up how many times Darren was asked if we are signing Edwards, Floyd, ect to be the #2 wr. Look at Mike Florio asking again if T.O. will be signed.
    Or maybe the constant questions of when will Fitz’s deal get done.
    It happens. No need to blast the guy.

    BTW, Dan, any word on who we are bringing in for OLB? 🙂

  20. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    What’s with the defence baking on Carter to be the Nose Tackle? Is Bidwell to cheap to sign guys like Iwebema and Robinson? Are they trying to loose every game?

  21. By Darren Urban on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Robinson/Iwebema

    Kenny is not a nose tackle. He lost so much weight after knee surgery, he actually looks middle linebacker-esque right now. As for Robinson, I think they think he’s at a point in his career where they’d rather try out a young guy. … wait … That was an AndyStands sarcasm special, wasn’t it …

  22. By clssylssy on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    Not having off season team activities is going to kill us with so many new players having to learn so much and Kevin Kolb is the guy we’re hanging all our hopes on, so I empathize with him. The Pack are bone crushers and while they won’t be playing their starters, I really hope our guys won’t be so mentally overloaded that they aren’t alert enough to keep from being run over. Learning Spanish isn’t as easy as listening to a CD and memorizing vocabulary lists. Like football there are many neuances, dialects and practical application. Somehow that analogy was not very comforting!
    And Chris, maybe Tim is new and hasn’t the benefit of your superior knowledge.I think it’s great that people are beginning to take an interest and participate even if their questions seem silly to a few. Always good to have new fans and there is no such thing as too much team support! REMEMBER…WE DO THIS TOGETHER!

  23. By nor cal cards fan on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    Urb- Do you think Joey Porter will make the final roster? Also, what were the numbers on his restructured contract ? Thank you for the coverage, as always

  24. By Darren Urban on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    NorCal —

    RE: Porter

    Right now, I wouldn’t be shocked if he stuck. Not a lot of options. He went from making $5.75M to $1.5M (and he was going to make $1M regardless because he had that much guaranteed for this year).

  25. By DAVID on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    Darren Long time Cards fan and a fan of your work.

    I was wondering it seems like to me doucet will make a better choice as the #2 WR then Roberts. Early fits the mold of Anquan and with Roberts speed he could be a great slot receiver.what do you think Darren…? or does the #2 WR has to stretch the field with his speed?

    thanks for your time darren!

  26. By Darren Urban on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    David —

    RE: No. 2 WR

    It’s going to be kind of mix and match anyway. Doucet will have his moments. They like Roberts’ speed though.

  27. By Scott H on Aug 18, 2011 | Reply

    OK, since no one else noticed it…in the picture included with this blog, it looks like Kolb is wearing a very heavy jacket. Given that he became a Cardinal in late July and it’s only mid-August, where the hell was he when this picture was taken??? Are they simulating a December game in Buffalo??? Makes me cold just lookin’ at him…

  28. By Darren Urban on Aug 19, 2011 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Kolb jacket

    I was pretty chilly last week at the end of the Oakland game.

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