Leading into training camps and the coming season, ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski has been hitting the film and is ranking his Top 30 QBs for 2012, breaking them down. Going from 30 on up to Number 1, He has already reached Arizona Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb.
He came in at number 25.
Said Jaworski on the air (as noted in a Mike Sando blog entry):
"Many forget that Kevin went through the 2010 offseason and training camp as the Eagles' starting quarterback. 2011 was not his first year as an NFL starter. And quite honestly, I was a little disappointed in Kolb last year in Arizona.
"But Kevin has always been very good recognizing pressure and coverages. He's an intelligent quarterback who sees the field very well. It's one reason he was efficient versus the blitz in 2011. Kolb read the blitz before the snap [during a play for which ESPN showed highlights]. He knew he did not have enough blockers. He had three to block four; the outside rusher could not be accounted for. So Kolb moved away from the pressure to give himself room and time to deliver the ball. He knew he would get hit; that was a big-time throw.
"When Kolb reads pressure and coverage correctly, he's decisive. He looks like a quality starter. If what he expects is not there, he's prone to sacks and turnovers. In addition, Kolb is not very good outside the pocket. He did not show the ability to effectively extend plays.
"Entering 2012, Kolb is a pocket quarterback who must sharpen and further develop his pocket skills. That's the objective. One final point I need to make that relates to that -- Kevin missed too many open receivers. He left far too many plays on the field. I always liked Kevin Kolb as a quarterback. I know he approaches the game the right way. 2012 is his crossroads season. I would expect to see improvement. But right now, he's in the bottom-third of my quarterback rankings."
2012 is an important year for Kolb. He needs to stay healthy. He needs to stay in the pocket and make throws. The team's offensive scheme does not call for scrambling outside of the pocket. He needs to lead an effective offense and not make mistakes.
But first he has to win the starting job. That is big important step number one. Of course, he has to do those other things to win the job.
If Arizona is to threaten the San Francisco 49ers in the division, they will need Kolb or John Skelton to be much better than the 25th best QB in the league.
Get more Cardinals coverage at Revenge of the Birds.