The Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals debate didn’t take time off during the holiday weekend, in fact it raged on. While many ‘amateurs’ — ourselves included — have tried to weigh the pros and cons of dealing for the Philadelphia Eagles second stringer, we’ve yet to hear any real experts assessment of his skills (that is unless you include Andy Reid trying to talk up his trade bait’s value).
On Tuesday, NFL Films Greg Cosell, a proclaimed quarterback expert, gave Yahoo Sports his thoughts on Kolb and what he’s shown in his seven career starts.
When his first read is there, given the route combination and the defense, he’s very, very good. But when that first read is not quite there and he’s forced to reset and look elsewhere, I think he struggles and I think he starts to play a little too fast. He starts to lose his pocket composure. He starts to lose his footwork and I think he starts to lose his downfield focus. You can tell in these types of situations that he’s not getting a clear picture when he has to reset. So, I think, overall, that’s Kolb at this point (in his career).
It’s not earth shattering news. As a matter of fact, it’s probably expected. Kolb is a young quarterback who hasn’t played in a lot of NFL games. The fact that when a play breaks down he struggles to recover seems to be something you’d imagine would happen from a player who has rarely been in game situations.
What Cosell’s analysis does do is make one wonder exactly how prepared Kolb truly is to step in and lead an NFL team after the lockout. With no offseason to prepare and familiarize himself with a new team’s playbook, his inability to adjust on the fly may become a bigger issue. Without a mastery of an offense that first read won’t be as simple and his second and third reads will be progressively tougher.
Kolb may provide the long term answer for a team like the Cardinals, but, if you believe Cosell, he may hurt the team in the short term while he adjusts to a new system and life as an everyday starter in the NFL.