With The Cardinals Out Of The Peyton Manning Race, How Will Kevin Kolb React?

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Kevin Kolb #4 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 19-13 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The old adage has always been that people either rise to the occasion or crumble under the pressure. The Arizona Cardinals are hoping for the former after choosing to pay quarterback Kevin Kolb a $7 million bonus, keeping him on the roster through the 2012 season.

As we all know, the Cardinals felt they had a chance to upgrade at the QB position by acquiring future NFL Hall of Famer, Peyton Manning. As it turns out, that plan fell through. This has left many to wonder how Kolb will react knowing that the team that just traded for him last summer was already trying to replace him.

Going into training camp, Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt has declared that Kolb will indeed have to battle for the starter's spot with John Skelton. With all of these changes and added pressures being placed on Kolb's shoulders, a diamond could be formed right in front of our eyes.

Competition has always been the philosophy for the Cardinals and Coach Whiz. Ever since he came to town in 2007, players have had to earn the starting role at their respective positions. Kolb was undoubtedly told that before signing his five-year deal with the team. Now, he will get a chance to experience it.

The NFL is a win or go home environment. So as former Cardinal and local Valley radio host Ron Wolfley pointed out in his column, Kevin Kolb already understands the ramifications of what the team was trying to do by pursuing Manning and will need to accept it. If he were unwilling to do so, he would have never become a professional football player in the first place.

Kolb truly hasn't shown Arizona and it's fans that he is the answer to the team's woes that have been present since Kurt Warner's retirement. He knows that and still has a long way to go before he reaches that elite level to where he is immune to criticism and rumors.

So this offseason is going to be a big indicator of how Kolb will play for the rest of the time he is with the Cards. He will have competition, the media will hound him and the league will test his pocket prowess. The question is: will he crumble or will he rise?

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