Thursday, August 25, 2011
Kevin Kolb and QBs avoiding sacks
By Mike Sando
Several years ago, when the Houston Texans were transitioning away from David Carr to Matt Schaub, I asked one of their assistants how the team planned to reduce sacks allowed.
Mike Sherman, the Texans' offensive coordinator at the time, said quarterbacks are usually most responsible for how many sacks a team allows. Carr's offensive line obviously played a role in the 249 sacks he had absorbed over a five-year period. But line play could not account for the Texans' rate of sacks-per-pass-attempt plummeting from 8.9 percent in Carr's final season to 4.2 percent in Schaub's first season.
How quarterbacks deal with pressure matters tremendously.
That context came to mind recently when Larry Fitzgerald told Sports 620 KTAR what he liked about new Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb.
"The thing I like about him is that he gets the ball out of his hands quick," Fitzgerald told the station, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. "He makes very fast decisions and he is going to give me an opportunity to go make plays, which is something that any receiver would be licking their chops for."
The Cardinals allowed sacks on 8.9 percent of pass attempts. Only the Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders allowed higher percentages. All had shaky quarterback situations or, in the Steelers' and Bears' cases, quarterbacks known for taking sacks.
Kolb needs to work on this area of his game. He took 15 sacks and had 189 pass attempts. That works out to 7.9 percent, which would have ranked 25th in the league among teams last season. Indianapolis (2.4), the New York Giants (3.0), New Orleans Saints (3.9) and Atlanta Falcons (4.0) led the NFL in that statistic last season. Their quarterbacks had quite a bit to do with those percentages.