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5 Reasons Why Arizona Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb Really Is Scared in the Pocket

Hector DiazAnalyst ISeptember 23, 2016

5 Reasons Why Arizona Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb Really Is Scared in the Pocket

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    ESPN reports that John Skelton will likely be named the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, leaving Kevin Kolb with a lucrative deal and a spot on the bench. 

    Ken Whisenhunt’s wait-and-see approach during this year’s preseason finally saw both quarterbacks healthy enough to prove their worth. 

    Skelton showed poise as the starter. Kolb, on the other hand, showed fear and indecisiveness. 

    Here are five reasons why Kevin Kolb really is scared in the pocket. 

Offensive Line Troubles

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    Kevin Kolb’s fear in the pocket may not entirely be his fault; he can give his offensive line the credit for that as well. 

    The line anchored by Levi Brown, who is best known as the guy Arizona drafted instead of running back Adrian Peterson, gave up 54 sacks last season. This was the second-most sacks allowed last season, only behind the struggling St. Louis Rams.

    But with a stat line that deplorable, there is nowhere to go but up, so there should be some increase in protection for any quarterback.  

Lack of a Consistent Running Game

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    Just like the offensive line is partly to blame for Kolb’s frightened demeanor in the pocket, the same can be said about the running back situation in Arizona. 

    Rookie Ryan Williams was sidelined due to an Achilles injury last season, leaving Beanie Wells with the task of leading the running game. 

    While Wells showed glimpses of productivity, the combination of his own injuries and the lack of consistency left the offense with few offensive options. 

    Kolb was left with virtually a pass-only offense, but other than Larry Fitzgerald, there are no explosive pieces to work with in the desert.

Pump Fakes and Scrambles

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    The fact of the matter is, Kolb shows fear simply by faking a pass. 

    Where other quarterbacks psyche out their defenders with the simple move, Kolb’s lack of confidence faking the pass only shows his hesitancy.

    Just like the pump fakes, Kolb isn't fooling anyone when he scrambles outside the pocket. 

    Even as recently as the Hall of Fame Game against the New Orleans Saints, the offensive line’s collapse resulted in a sloppy scramble. This scramble almost resulted in a safety, but Kolb did manage to complete a pass to fullback Anthony Sherman. 

    Any casual fan can tell you that a pass to the fullback is definitely not the first offensive option.

Inability to Stay Healthy

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    There are injuries that can be prevented and there are some that are out of your control. 

    For Kevin Kolb, both seem to follow him through his career. 

    As recently as last season, Kolb has shown that he cannot stay healthy, as he missed half the season’s games due to injury. 

    He was sidelined with turf toe following the game versus the Baltimore Ravens which, as ESPN.com notes, was the Cardinals’ sixth straight loss. 

    Kolb managed to return as the starting quarterback, but he went down once again with concussion-related injuries sustained against the divisional rival San Francisco 49ers

    CBS reports that Kolb’s symptoms lasted three weeks after the initial hit, which goes to show his inability to recover quickly. 

Concussions

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    Unfortunately, concussions have been a problem for Kevin Kolb through his entire career. 

    Even as a Philadelphia Eagle, as he was taking the reins from a recently traded Donovan McNabb, he suffered the repercussions of the devastating injury. 

    The very first game of the 2010 NFL season saw Kolb being slammed to the ground by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and suffering a concussion, allowing Michael Vick to start. The rest, of course, is history. 

    Last season with the Arizona Cardinals, he suffered an injury and sustained concussion-like symptoms, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. 

    Fortunately for Kolb, the bench might suit him better now that he is the presumptive second-string quarterback. 

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