Best Hope for the Arizona Cardinals (2011)

Kevin Kolb, quarterback

Kevin Kolb is the great hope of the Arizona Cardinals. After struggling last season with a trio of inept quarterbacks, the Cardinals dished out big bucks — a $63 million ($23 million guaranteed), five-year contract — and traded away their best cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and a second-round draft choice to the Philadelphia Eagles for a guy they hope can bring back the glory days of Kurt Warner. (Though in this deal, the Cardinals also lost their second-best receiver in the off-season when Steve Breaston went to the Kansas City Chiefs.) Here's the skinny on the 6-foot-3, 218-pound Kolb: He's got a great arm, which means he has no problem airing it out downfield or to zigzagging receivers.He's not just a scrambler but a guy who can leave the pocket and pick up yards on the ground. He's 27 and reaching the prime of his career (considering his limited playing time). Drawbacks are that defenses can read him more often than coaches would like, he takes too many chances resulting in interceptions, he tends to run the ball at the first sign of trouble, and he can sail passes over the heads of receivers. He was drafted 36th in the 2007 NFL draft out of the University of Houston and completed 194 passes out of 319 attempts for 2,082 yards, 11 TDs, and 14 interceptions. This was mostly as a backup, first to Donovan McNabb and then to Michael Vick. He had been the Eagles' starting QB until he was sidelined in the last season's opener with a concussion. Insiders believe Kolb can be great now that he's playing every Sunday. He passed for 309 yards and a TD in the Cards' opener against Carolina. We've heard that star Cards wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald pushed for him, which can only mean that Fitzgerald believes the new kid will return him to greatness. Which would be good for all of us.


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