Did Arizona Cardinals make learning curve for Zaven Collins too high?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Zaven Collins
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Zaven Collins /

Did the Arizona Cardinals put too much pressure on Zaven Collins?

Taking the small-school linebacker in the first round out of Tulsa has resulted in a disappointing first year.

Looking back on the fact that Collins hardly played down the stretch really stung Arizona Cardinals fans, as that was very similar to what Isaiah Simmons went through in the 2020 season.

On top of Jordan Hicks being released, the Arizona Cardinals are making it very clear that Collins needs to step up and be the start that he was at Tulsa.

In an interview on June 9th, Collins sat down and talked to the media at a press conference.

A whole bunch of questions were asked, but some of the top takeaways were:

  • First, Collins admitted that his playing time was proportional to his “bad practices.”
  • He injured his AC joint (where the collar bone meets the shoulder blade/scapula)
    • Collins admitted that he tried playing through the injury and made it even worse by toughing it out against the Green Bay Packers.
  • Hicks is still someone Collins talks to a lot.
  • Collins says Vance Joseph won’t give anyone more than he can handle

Are Zaven Collins’ practice struggles something to worry about for the Arizona Cardinals?

When Cardinals fans were in the middle of the 2021 season, no one would have expected that Collins was going to struggle with practice.

But, looking back on it, we all should have seen this coming when the Cardinals chose to slash OTAs last year. I wrote about my displeasure with the move, and now it’s no wonder they’re in this spot.

I know what some of you’re probably thinking, “It’s only seven OTA sessions, and they just run around in shorts anyway.” That’s precisely it; a rookie needs every chance to learn. Taking away those opportunities is a contradictory step for a team that’s trying to get better and not collapse.

People learn with repetition and time, but this was an avoidable spot to be in. So here’s to Collins taking the next step forward in his career.

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