Throwing deep UPDATE

Posted by Darren Urban on October 21, 2011 – 8:10 am

One of the more popular topics with the Cards has been getting the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, a subject that comes up time and again. But an offshoot of that is the Cardinals taking shots downfield period. While the progress of quarterback Kevin Kolb has also been constantly analyzed, the gentlemen at complied a “throwing deep” list this season, checking out accuracy and other stats for QBs throwing deep (by their definition, a pass 20 yards in the air or more).

Kolb has the fewest deep attempts in the NFL right now for starters. Kolb has tried only 11 deep passes this season, completing five. (And let’s be clear; throwing deep doesn’t exactly equate with win-loss record; the second-fewest attempts, 12, have come from the 49ers’ 5-1 starter Alex Smith, and he’s played in one more game than Kolb). Kolb has five completions for 205 yards, a touchdown (the bomb to Fitz in Washington) and three interceptions.

The list is fun to peruse. Carolina rookie Cam Newton has already tried 43 such passes this season.

As for the reasons Kolb hasn’t thrown deep more often, they are likely multiple, and all the ones we have gone over before. Protection not holding up, being uncomfortable in the pocket (it takes times for such routes to develop), and probably fewer playcalls to do so. There is all kinds of risk usually when you take shots downfield, whether it is a chance at a sack or getting picked off on a jump ball (like the Antrel Rolle interception in the Giants’ game). It’s a part of Kolb’s game — and the offense — that will be interesting to watch as the season moves forward.

UPDATE: The guys were kind enough to send along, for comparison, what Kurt Warner did deep his final two seasons in Arizona. That’s also very interesting. In 2008, Warner had the highest accuracy percentage throwing deep (58.7) but his 46 attempts (23 completions, 4 drops, 5 TD, 3 INT) were still tied for the fewest among the the full-time quarterbacks that season (JaMarcus Russell and Ben Roethlisberger were the only other two with fewer than 50 that season).

In 2009, Warner’s deep accuracy percentage dropped off the table to 32.4 percent (11-of-37, 1 drop, 3 TD, 5 INT) and again, his attempts were fewest in the league.

In both years, Warner threw deep only 7.7 percent and 7.2 percent of the time respectively (Kolb is at 6.4 percent of the time). By contrast, Derek Anderson threw deep 14.4 percent of the time last season when he was playing.

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Posted in Blog | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Throwing deep UPDATE”

  1. By wampag on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    any word on Heap? have him in my fantasy

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Wampag, Mike G —

    RE: Heap

    Friday is a big day. If he doesn’t practice, it doesn’t look good.

  3. By MIKE G on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren – Which receiver do you think Kolb is the most comfortable throwing to at this point in the season??? I think its Todd Heap!! Do you think Heap will go Sunday??

  4. By AZ Fan in WA on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Throwing deep looks cool when it works… Hitting a receiver in stride will get you that yac. If KK can goosefraaabaa and calm his flighty feet he can be very accurate. I’m excited to see it happen. I get the impression that he is the kind of guy who will really get going after a couple successes. Hope our tackles can keep him alive…

  5. By D on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Wow, Cam better slow down or he may blow his arm out

  6. By John the Draft Guy on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Being that the steelers have the top pass defense and have guys who can blow by our tackles, I dont see that deep number going up this game.

    With that being said, Ray Rice and Arian Foster ran all over the steeler defense. Those 30+ year old d lineman wear down by the second half if we can keep pounding and keep the game close.

    I see a win if;
    our defense can produce multiple 3 and outs, the cards stick with running Beanie 25+ times, and we win the turn over battle.

    Really, I would love to see this Oline impose their will on a team and earn a little respect. As much heat Levi has gotten, when he gets his hands on you, he can drive you down the field. Looking forward to a tough, physical battle.

    Cards 17-14 in a stunner.

  7. By Mike in Mesa on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Yes but Anderson wasn’t trying to throw deep last year. He just overthrew his receivers by 30 yards. So the stat for him is skewed.

  8. By Darren Urban on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa —

    RE: Anderson stat

    OK, I’ll admit, that line literally made me laugh out loud,

  9. By Rocky on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, Just wondering.. Why don’t we ever hear from Miller about the offense… being the O.C. why dont you guys do interviews… Q & A’s… with him.. maybe it would help redirect some of the attention off of Whiz. Just sayin..

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Rocky —

    RE: Miller interviews

    He is available Thursdays. I can do that. I think part of the reason is, because Whiz is an offensive guy, it feels repetitive sometimes.

  11. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    When’s the last time the Cards had a deep threat?
    Fitz, Boldin Breaston, Doucet, Roberts, etc.. are all possession receivers to me.

    Last Card that averaged over 15 YPC over a season was what.. David Boston? MarTay Jenkins?

  12. By cardfancolorado on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    lets just keep korn kolb protected

  13. By Carl on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    What was Matt Leinarts throwing deep percentage when he was playing.

    Lets not stop at 3 former/current cardinals lets go to 4.

  14. By Arizona Dave on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply


    After the past few weeks with Kolb not really producing the way he should be has there been any talk of him being analyzed to see if he really is the right fit for this system? If yes I think Skelton showed alot of potential seeing as how he can extend a play and pick up some yards on his feet.

  15. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    Arizona Dave —

    RE: Kolb

    I would think that would have been considered before the trade.

  16. By cardsalltheway on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

    I mentioned early in the preseason about Kolb’s usual 3/4 release, today that disallowed him from hitting Housler deep. Kolb’s 3/4 release doesn’t allow him to throw deep. I believe he can throw deeper but not when he throws 3/4’s. I think Kolb was so surprised he had a lot of time(linemen actually blocked or the Steelers D-line took the play off), that he hurried the throw anyway.

  17. By Chuck on Oct 25, 2011 | Reply

    Kolb cant throw deep if the O-line cannot protect.Hes been running for his life all season

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