(AP) — Kevin Kolb is disgusted with the way his Arizona career has started. He knows the Cardinals paid him big money to be the franchise quarterback for years to come.
So he said he is looking in the mirror to find the leader to bring the team out of its four-game losing streak, that his postgame comments after Sunday's 34-10 loss at Minnesota were not meant to blame his teammates, as some had interpreted.
In the emotional aftermath of the blowout loss, Kolb said that the players "have to get more detail oriented."
"It starts with meetings, showing up to work on time, getting in early, getting your work done, and all the stuff a professional is supposed to do," he said at the time. "Maybe it takes a game like this to figure that out."
Kolb was softening his comments on Wednesday.
"I just meant the details," he said. "It started with me. I'm not saying guys were late to meetings. I just meant when you are in situations like this, the only way you get better is you tighten things up, not your emotions, not your play. You just tighten up all the little details it comes with. OK, maybe I need to go over my script one more time before practice. OK, maybe I need to go over these third down plays three or four more times on Friday and Saturday, those types of things."
Kolb said he "just didn't say it right."
"I think people know me well enough to know that I wouldn't point the finger at anybody else," he said. "I definitely didn't mean for it to come out that way."
There was a team meeting before the team practiced on Tuesday.
"The gist of it all was accountability," Kolb said. "That's kind of what I was trying to point to after the game. I just think that if everybody has accountability and everybody does their job, we win football games. It's hard to get that many guys to do it. It really is. Everybody has different personalities. I think we have a really good group of men, professionals."
The Cardinals had a short practice on Wednesday, then because this is their bye week, won't go back to work until Monday. Their next game is Oct. 23 at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kolb said the intensity was higher in the two practices this week as the team worked on its two-minute offense and third-down conversions, two areas of weakness in Arizona's 1-4 start.
"We went full speed and these last two days here have been great work," he said. "It's the most impressive two days of work I think we have had so far. I really believe that. Guys are stepping up and making plays and the urgency levels are up. Everybody is just playing faster. We have to make sure that after the break we continue this, remember what was said, remember what was talked about amongst our groups, and have that same motivation."
Leadership is one thing, doing the right things on the field physically and mentally is another.
"Kevin has always been a good leader. I just think we need to make our plays offensively when they are there," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "We have had opportunities to do that and we haven't gotten it done. Kevin has been working very hard to get better at some of the things, for instance, footwork things in the pocket, and if he does that I'm sure it is going to translate into us being more efficient offensively."
Then there are those on the receiving end of Kolb's passes.
"Quite frankly, we have to have some guys catch the ball in the situations," Whisenhunt said. "We had some good plays out here today and guys didn't make the catches. There are a lot of things we are working on and focusing on, and we are going to hold them accountable for it."
The idea of the four-day break is to allow players to get away from everything and relax. Kolb said he'd try, but doubted it. He's already loaded his I-Pad with information on the Steelers. Leaders, apparently, shouldn't take days off.
"Right now is whenever leaders step up and take charge," Kolb said. "It starts with your play. I have to play better along with a lot of other guys and us as a group. That's where it starts. Once we start winning, we can get this thing rolling and we have total belief we can get it back on track. That's the way you have to play and that's the way you have to believe."