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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Aug 15, 2011 - 9:51 am

ESPN Insider: Kolb is throwing the ball better than he ever has

The thoughts from the national media on Kevin Kolb have been mixed at best since the Cardinals acquired the young quarterback. One guy who has been in his corner from the beginning is ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton. After watching Arizona practice on Sunday, his opinion on Arizona's new signal caller hasn't changed. It's become even more positive.

"I was impressed by Kevin [Kolb]," Clayton told Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf. "You can see that he is throwing the ball better than he has maybe at any point in his pro career. Just having the confidence of now knowing this is his job he was loose. He was throwing the ball so accurately."

Another reason Kolb is probably feeling confident is the fact that he knows he is throwing to a Pro Bowl receiver in Larry Fitzgerald. Although, even that is a learning process.

"He's now learning how to work with Larry Fitzgerald," Clayton said. "Which is probably the easiest job of any quarterback in the league, but it still requires an adjustment. Now all those principles they teach you like you look in the progression you see that Larry's covered you go to a different guy. No, you don't do that. You throw the ball anyways. He's picked that up immediately. Which is going to make him number one in Fitzgerald's heart but also too, much better at getting completions."

That was on display in Week 1 of the preseason as Kolb and Fitzgerald connected on 43-yard bomb against the Raiders. While the pass wasn't perfect, the all-everything receiver made a great adjustment and a spectacular catch that turned his new quarterback's debut into a success.

Without Fitz's spectacular catch on a ball that was basically thrown up for grabs, Kolb would have finished his first action with his new team just 3-of-7 for 25 yards and a 52.67 QB rating. In that situation, fans likely would have been underwhelmed at best by the performance and concerns would still have lingered in many of their minds.

Instead the Kolb finished 4-of-7 for 68 yards and a 91.7 QB rating and the fans and media voiced their pleasure with the quarterback.

It's just proof of how important Fitzgerald will be to Kolb and Kolb will be to Fitzgerald this season. After a rough season last year for the Cardinals and a down year for the receiver, a young quarterback with a lot of potential who is throwing the ball well is just what the doctor -- or Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves -- ordered. If the two can remain on the same page, a return to the top of the NFC West should be a realistic possibility.

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