The Arizona Cardinals made a bold move after the lockout ended, sending former first-round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round pick to the Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb. (We didn’t like the move when it was made.) With the Cardinals stuck in a 1-3 start, the fans are starting to grouse.
“I have been around long enough to know that everybody has doubts,” Kolb recently said, via the Associated Press. “It’s the same thing if we were going the other way. If we were 4-0, we’d be going to the Super Bowl, which isn’t the truth, either. Good or bad, I’ve learned to not listen to it and have faith in my own ability and what we have as a team.”
Coach Ken Whisenhunt offered a more tangible comparison, even though he pointed out it’s not a comparison. Even though it is a comparison.
“Once again, I’m not comparing, but I remember the first year that Aaron [Rodgers] stepped in, it was a little bit uneven as well,” Whisenhunt said. “I remember that there was a lot of talk at that time and that was a number of years ago, and now he’s at the top of the league as far as quarterbacks go.”
Kolb pointed to his lack of familiarity with his new pass-catchers. “I’d say one of the biggest things is just the timing of the routes and how they come out in the game,” Kolb said. “Those full 100 percent bullets that you are taking in the game with the receivers running a certain tempo, just that timing. Whenever you see those offenses like [Tom] Brady’s and Drew Brees‘ and those kinds of guys, they are hitting people right in stride. That’s what you want to get to. We will get there and we have confidence that we will.”
Of course, playing the timing card invites comparisons to the Titans and quarterback Matthew Hasselbeck, who hasn’t missed a beat in changing offenses. In fact, he’s actually better in Tennessee than he was in Seattle. And it’s fair to point to Hasselbeck because the Cardinals could have had him for no draft picks — and less money.
That said, the arrival of Kolb already can be described as a success in one important area. His presence helped persuade receiver Larry Fitzgerald to sign a new contract, which keeps him in Arizona deep into the decade. Signing a 30-something veteran likely wouldn’t have placated Fitzgerald. With Kolb in the fold over the long haul, Fitzgerald was willing to make a long-term commitment to the team.