Arizona Cardinals fans so far have been disappointed in the play of Kevin Kolb. Expectations were high, and I was one with them. Most didn't expect him to be a superstar, but rather above average. He has not been that so far. He ha had his moments, but mostly it has been a case of what ifs, missed throws and unsteadiness in the pocket.
All the NFL starters were ranked by Jim Trotter at SI.com, and you should be pleased (and maybe even surprised) that Kolb, while below average, is ranked the second-best in the division.
According to these rankings, Kolb falls in at number 24.
"The big trade that brought him from Philadelphia has produced only one win. Kolb has been uncomfortable and uncertain in the new offense, which requires him to hold the ball longer than he did in the Eagles' West Coast system. He also tended to lock onto Larry Fitzgerald for much of the first month. His development could be hindered by the case of turf toe he suffered last week."
Not a bad description.
He does, though, rank right ahead of fellow NFC West signal callers Sam Bradford (25) and Tarvaris Jackson (26).
Alex Smith is a surprise at number six, ahead of Drew Brees.
Now, at 24, one might be quick to consider the trade a failure. We must look to a year ago. Derek Anderson probably would have landed at the very bottom. Now 24 is not what you want for a second round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but improvement is a start.
Lots of comparisons have been made to Kolb, most recently Matt Cassel. If Kolb improves and plays at a level similar to Cassel, it might not be exactly what people wanted, but would it be that bad? If he develops into a Matt Cassel-type QB, the argument certainly could be made that he would be the second-best QB in Cardinals history, or at least since coming to Arizona.
However, for now, as so many say, "It is what it is." Kolb has not yet been what we want him to be. That can still change. Instead of 1-6, with a couple of breaks and plays, the team could be 3-4, 4-3 or even 5-2.
So while 24th might not be acceptable to many, we can find at least a minimal amount of solace in the fact that, according to Trotter, Kolb is still the second best QB in his division.