View Full Version : Next Up: Arizona Cardinals' Kevin Kolb
10-18-2011, 01:48 AM
Arizona Cardinals' Kevin Kolb under repair
by Kent Somers - Oct. 17, 2011
The Arizona Republic
The Cardinals have numerous problems to solve as they emerge from their off week.
They need better pass protection from their two tackles. They need a pass rusher off the edge, or from anywhere. They need to reduce mental breakdowns in pass coverage, the two young corners need to tighten coverage and make plays on the ball, and strong safety Adrian Wilson needs to return to Pro Bowl form.
But nothing is more important, or will have more impact on the final 11 games, than fixing whatever is wrong with quarterback Kevin Kolb.
In the first two games, he completed 61.4 percent of his passes, threw four touchdown passes and had one intercepted. In the last three games, his completion percentage dipped to 57.3 and he had just one touchdown pass and four interceptions. Those are Derek Anderson-type numbers. In five games, Kolb's fumbled six times and lost three.
Granted, we all can make statistics dance, sing and carry out the garbage if we want. In the second game, for instance, Kolb completed 17 of 30 (56.7) percent of his passes. At this stage of the season, one performance, good or bad, can skew statistics. But those of us who have watched the Cardinals can trust our eyes, and what we've seen from Kolb lately hasn't been good.
He looks uncomfortable in the pocket and he's not making plays when he's on the move. But If I'm a Cardinals coach or player, what's most troubling to me is that Kolb is missing open receivers. In Minnesota, he missed tight end Rob Housler twice: once wide open in the end zone and another time down the seam. (The Cardinals have tried hard to hit that tight end seam pass all year. Doing so a few times might make opponents think twice about keeping a safety over the top on Fitzgerald.) He's thrown behind and ahead of receivers.
Kolb's short history suggests he's due to get hot. In his short time as a starter for the Eagles, there were lows and highs. He didn't put together strings of poor performances, or exceptional ones.
What Kolb hasn't done is produce on a consistent basis. That's understandable. He's 27 and this is the first season in which he's started more than four consecutive games. This is a new offensive system that puts considerable responsibility on a quarterback, moreso than many other schemes.
But the time to improve is now. Excuses abound, but the Cardinals are behind the 49ers (5-1) by 3 1/2 games. The Cardinals don't need to be reminded that the 49ers have a new coach with a new system, but I just did anyway.
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/cardina ... z1b6McxrNa (http://www.azcentral.com/sports/cardinals/articles/2011/10/17/20111017arizona-cardinals-kevin-kolb-fixing-problems.html#ixzz1b6McxrNa)
Discipline of Steel
10-18-2011, 06:45 AM
Punish Kolb and we will win. Luckily for us, the same cant be said for Big Ben.
10-18-2011, 07:32 PM
How the Arizona Cardinals Can Beat The Pittsburgh Steelers!
by Steel34D on Oct 17, 2011
Don't underestimate the knowledge Whisenhunt and Horton have on the Steelers offense and defense. The Steelers haven't been the best on the road and the Cardinals are much better at home. Add in a bye week and this could be a dangerous game for the Steelers.
Here is how the Cardinals can beat the Steelers:
It is no secret that D!ck LeBeau's 3-4 system has kept the Steelers defense in the leagues best over the last couple of years. However this is not the same defense this year. Here would be my strategy for attacking the Steelers defense.
1. The TE is Kevin Kolb's best friend:
The first thing the Cardinals need to do is utilize 2 TE set frequently. Why? Well for one the TE needs to chip LaMarr Woodley and other blitzing Steelers to give Kevin Kolb time. We all know Levi Brown can't hold up by himself. The second reason is that the Steelers are currently slow at ILB and therefore are poor at covering the TE. In case Cardinals fans haven't noticed Rob Housler is a weapon. Housler needs to be flexed and force either James Farrior or William Gay to cover him match ups that favor the Cardinals. Todd Heap and Jeff King need to stay in get a good chip on the blitzers and then release to the flat as a check-down route. Doing this should not only give the Cardinals the match up but will help the poor play of the tackles.
2. Short, quick routes to Andre Roberts and Early Doucet:
The Steelers defense is notorious for giving up the small completions to stop the big play. Aside from Ike Taylor I like the Cardinals quickness matched against the Steelers DB. Kevin Kolb needs to utilize the Hot Route and get it out quick. The pass will be there and the Cards can move down the field if they can do this.
3. Zone Running with cut blocks:
The Texans, and the Raven this year have run good utilizing zone scheme while cut blocking the NT (Casey Hampton if healthy). Take advantage of the fact Jason Worilds may be over aggressive and the cut backs could be there. Beanie is no slouch when healthy. While running the Cards need to run to Worlids side because Worilds is not good against the run and Woodley is far better.
4. Understand where No. 43 and No. 22 are:
If Polamalu begins to play close to the line change the damn snap count cause he jumps it better than anyone in the league. William Gay No. 22 is the scape goat of the secondary but him match against Housler is a match up Housler should win every time. He will be played with at least a 5 yard cushion so call the hot route on the guy he covers.
1. Cardinals secondary is young but not without talent:
Petersen has roughly the same speed as Wallace but if he has to think he will be slowed. A.J. Jefferson is a guy I've like since pre-draft he has length in arms, jumping ability and good speed. This week stop the confusing zone scheme and play press man. Petersen straight up on Wallace, Jefferson on Brown or Ward. And don't put Adrian Wilson in coverage against Heath Miller. On top of that Bruce Arians is cocky and calls deep routes like crazy (with no check-down) if the timing of his routes are thrown off then Ben will get hit.
2. Blitz the right side:
Jonathan Scott the Steelers current right tackle is Levi Brown bad. I would be blitzing Adrian Wilson from the right at least 50 percent of the time because someone will get to Ben. (I also don't want to risk Wilson in coverage) Darnell Dockett needs to get his head out of his ass cause he has a favorable match up this week. Stop whining about playing the 3-4 and earn the right to rush the dam passer.
3. Understand the delay blitz:
Daryl Washington is a quick ILB. The Steelers interior line has fluctuated all season and has proven to be slow to pick up stunts and delays. As soon as Washington see the a hole in the initial pass coverage he needs to hit it.
4. Tackle Ben when you Hit him:
Don't let Ben out of the pocket and wrap him up when you hit him or hell just break it. Ben has been fumble happy as well this season so if they can hit him the Cards have the odds in their favor for a turn over.
http://www.revengeofthebirds.com/2011/1 ... e-steelers (http://www.revengeofthebirds.com/2011/10/17/2496697/how-the-cardinals-can-beat-the-steelers)
10-19-2011, 01:55 AM
Steelers at Cardinals: Advanced scouting
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local ... 4b140.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/steelers-at-cardinals-advanced-scouting/article_c33662d5-f76e-5265-8395-6e4c1a04b140.html)
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 7:09 pm | Updated: 7:21 pm, Tue Oct 18, 2011.
By Mike Bires firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sunday, it will be Pittsburgh vs. Arizona in a Super Bowl XLIII rematch. But as the Steelers are already finding out, these are hardly the same Cardinals from 2008.
While the Steelers still have 12 starters from that 27-23 classic victory, the Cardinals only have four.
"Boy, a lot has changed since then," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "There are a lot of differences in Arizona in 2011 than in 2008. Of course, a lot has changed on our side as well. Teams evolve. We have evolved as well."
All the changes the Cardinals have gone through since then haven't made them better. They made it back to the NFC championship in 2009 but last year they finished last in the NFC West at 5-11. Right now, they're 1-4 and riding a four-game losing streak.
The last of those four losses was a 34-10 blowout at Minnesota on Oct. 9 against the 1-5 Vikings.
However, this past weekend the Cardinals were off with their bye, and coach Ken Whisenhunt says "Everybody is refreshed and ready to go. We should have some energy. You should feel healthier and a little more refreshed and maybe (have) a new perspective of where we are."
Here's a look at the re-charged Cardinals, who are 3½-point home underdogs against the Steelers (4-2):
Offensively, the Cardinals don't come close to resembling the team they had when they last played the Steelers. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and tackle Levi Brown are the only two holdovers from the SB43 squad.
Gun-slinging quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Edgerrin James have since retired. Wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston now play for the Ravens and Chiefs, respectively.
Kevin Kolb, acquired in a trade with the Eagles, now runs the offense. He's been sacked 16 times already in five games. He's thrown six interceptions and ranks 28th in the league with a 77.2 passer rating. He's yet to make Cardinals fans forget what a terrific QB Warner was.
Fitzgerald, the ex-Pitt star, is still a phenomenal talent. He's 10th in the league with an average of 85.4 receiving yards per game. But he's only caught two TD passes.
Carrying the ball for the Cardinals is former Ohio State star Beanie Wells, a first-round pick in the 2009 draft. Wells, a bruiser who goes 6-foot-2 and 229 pounds, ranks fourth in the league with an average of 95.2 rushing yards pg.
Arizona ranks 18th in total offense and 25th in scoring.
At one point last year, scuttlebutt in Arizona hinted that the Cardinals wanted to hire Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator if he wasn't rehired by the Steelers. Well, the Steelers never had any intention of letting LeBeau go, so the Cardinals did the next best thing. They offered Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton the job.
And the first thing Horton did when he was hired was change the Cardinals' base defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4. He then proclaimed that "I am here to say the first call is going to be a blitz."
It's going to take awhile for the Cardinals to play great defense the way the Steleers usually do. For starters, their two outside linebackers -- Joey Porter and Clark Haggans -- are players the Steelers gave up on a few years ago. Both are 34 years old and past their primes. Porter, who ranks fourth on the Steelers' all-time sack list with 60, only has one so far this year. Haggans doesn't have any.
In the last two drafts, the Cardinals have focused on the defensive side of the ball. Last year with their first two picks, they took Dan Williams, a nose tackle out of Tennessee, and Daryl Washington, an inside linebacker out of TCU. This year with the fifth overall pick, they took Patrick Peterson, a cornerback out of LSU.
So far this season, Arizona ranks 21st in total defense but 11th in fewest points allowed.
A look at Cardinals connections to the Steelers:
Ken Whisenhunt, head coach
Russ Grimm, assistant head coach/offensive line
Mike Miller, offensive coordinator
Ray Horton, defensive coordinator
Matt Raich, linebackers
Deshea Townsend, assistant secondary
Kevin Spencer, special teams
Joey Porter, outside linebacker
Clark Haggans, outside linebacker
Nick Eason, defensive tackle
Crezdon Butler, cornerback
10-22-2011, 07:56 PM
Cardinals are craving for answers on offense
By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Fixing the problem with the Cardinals' offense starts with QB Kevin Kolb, who has one touchdown pass, five interceptions and has taken 11 sacks the past three games
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals are 1-4, which offers the best, broadest explanation for why coach Ken Whisenhunt extended their practice Friday in 97-degree heat, in addition to the two full extra sessions he scheduled in the bye week leading up to Sunday's game against the Steelers.
"That's why we're out here, trying to find that chemistry," veteran center Lyle Sendlein said. "It's a process that we shouldn't be going through right now. We should already be jelling and be on the same page. For whatever reason, we're not right now."
The reasons are deep and diverse, but the one cited most often Friday was a moribund offense. And that's partially because much more was expected.
The Arizona franchise was raised to new heights by Kurt Warner in reaching Super Bowl XLIII against the Steelers. But the Cardinals burned through four subpar quarterbacks in 2010 — Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Max Hall or Richard Bartel — while going 5-11. Not one had a quarterback rating as high as 66.
Management tried to change that by trading with Philadelphia to bring in quarterback Kevin Kolb, then by signing All-Pro wide receiver and former Pitt star Larry Fitzgerald to an eight-year, $128.5 million contract. The struggles persist.
Arizona ranks 23rd of the NFL's 32 teams with an average of 19.2 points per game — right behind the Steelers' 19.8 — 16th in passing at 237 yards per game and 21st in rushing at 103 yards per game. In the most recent game, a 34-10 loss Oct. 9 at Minnesota, the Vikings took a 28-0 lead before the Cardinals had a first down.
Individually, Kolb ranks 28th among starting quarterbacks with a 77.2 rating. Beanie Wells ranks 16th among rushers with 381 yards. Even Fitzgerald is struggling a bit — his 27 catches tie him for 20th in the NFL. And that's largely because fellow receiver Andre Roberts has just 12 catches.
Small wonder Whisenhunt turned the Cardinals' bye week into a back-to-basics boot camp. He and the coaching staff relayed to players entirely new formations for offense and defense, all of which could be seen for the first time Sunday. There also could be personnel changes — at wide receiver, in particular.
"This was an opportunity to take a break and look at our offensive and defensive systems and some of the problems we've had and work on getting them fixed," Whisenhunt said.
Creating a connection between Kolb and Fitzgerald would figure to be paramount. The two became well-acquainted in the offseason, hooking up for informal sessions, but chemistry doesn't mean much when the other team focuses on shutting down Fitzgerald.
Fixing the problem starts with Kolb, who has one touchdown pass, five interceptions and has taken 11 sacks the past three games.
Asked if the offense's confidence is shaken, Kolb replied: "I really don't think so. I think our last three or four practices have been crisp in the passing game, and I think we're all seeing it more and more clearly."
Added Roberts: "It's coming along. We've got new receivers and a new quarterback, so it takes time."
Fitzgerald expressed similar optimism.
"We've had some personnel changes, and we have a really good quarterback here now, some talented players," he said. "But Kurt Warner is going to be a Hall of Famer one day. The Broncos are still trying to find a replacement for John Elway. The Dolphins are still trying to find a replacement for Dan Marino. This is a tough business."
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1bYBTXOiU (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_763224.html#ixzz1bYBTXOiU)
10-22-2011, 10:15 PM
Looking for a dominating performance to build upon for the upcoming games. Especially want to see the offense click both halfs.
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