Fan Fest boo birds a sign Kevin Kolb has work to do
No, not with his game, though he did misfire on his fair share of passes Wednesday night.
Playing in front of fans for the first time since last season, Kolb overthrew Larry Fitzgerald on a deep ball, had a throw picked off by linebacker Reggie Walker in the end zone and saw his final pass of the night batted down at the line of scrimmage.
There were an estimated 15,000 fans in attendance at the Fan Fest, and you have to figure most were simply excited to be in the building and see their team for the first time since January 1. Many of them booed the QB.
Kolb did not have a banner night, that's for sure. Still, it did not matter that his misfires are no doubt but a small sample of the work he's done this offseason. It did not matter that it is the middle of June and no matter how much someone may struggle in one practice, there is still plenty of time to work out the kinks before the regular season opens September 7.
All that mattered was the quarterback who was brought in to be the guy last season has not earned the trust of a fan base that is desperate to see a winner once again.
That's what happens when a player who the team bet heavily on produces just nine touchdown passes in a season where he played in just nine games (finishing eight). That Kolb's backup produced a 6-2 record wasn't particularly helpful to the former Eagle's cause, either.
In a way, though, booing Kolb Wednesday night was somewhat unfair. Even someone who doesn't believe in the guy has to understand that one off night does not a career make. Kolb will have plenty more chances to prove himself -- likely in games that count -- and will either show he's capable of leading a team or is a bust.
To his credit, Kolb has consistently said he's aware of what's at stake this season, and if he fails it will not be due to a lack of effort.
And, to be fair, just because fans have no confidence in Kolb does not mean his teammates feel the same way. Not one player in the Cardinals' locker room has given any indication that they lack faith in Kolb, and after practice Wednesday rookie Michael Floyd said he likes both Kolb and John Skelton, and has no interest in playing favorites.
"That's the coaches' decision," he said of who should start.
Then again, you can't really expect players to take sides, especially not at this point. But that's neither here nor there.
We are a little less than three months from Week 1, giving Ken Whisenhunt and staff plenty of time to make their choice. Many feel Kolb is the favorite simply because of what the team has invested in him, but the coach has maintained the idea that Skelton, entering his third year in the NFL, will have every chance to earn the job.
One of the two will be under center when the team hosts Seattle, and it may very well be the man the fans booed Wednesday night.
Kevin Kolb could emerge as the starter, and may turn into the player the Cardinals thought they were trading for last July. Or, he could struggle again and be out of the league in two years. The truth is we just don't know, at least not yet.
The fans, though, seem to have already made their decision, and the only way for Kolb to change their perception is to play well. Does he have it in him?
We're anxiously waiting to find out.