By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After adjusting to a new team took longer than he’d hoped, and concussion problems landed Kevin Kolb on the sidelines, holding a clipboard in 2011, his career has had a bit of a renaissance so far this season.
John Skelton led the Arizona Cardinals to a promising 8-8 record last year, and then kept the starting quarterback job through the 2012 preseason. But an ankle injury to Skelton put Kolb behind center during the season opener against the Seahawks. Kolb went 6-8 for 66 yards and a touchdown and led the Cardinals to a comeback win. In week two, it was the defense that shined in the Cardinals 20-18 upset over the Patriots, but Kolb didn’t turn the ball over, and did throw a touchdown pass.
Kolb will now face the team and coach that both gave him his start, and then traded him away, Andy Reid and the Eagles.
“Andy knows me as good as anybody, so I’m sure they’ll have some special things in place,” Kolb told 94WIP’s Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow. “For us, we just got to execute just like any offense. Not get caught up into it, just slow it down and make sure you’re going through your reads correctly.”
Kolb was was groomed to be the Eagles quarterback of the future after they took him the second round of the 2007 draft. When Donovan McNabb was traded, and Kolb finally got his chance to lead the team, a concussion and an amazing performance by Michael Vick put Kolb back on the bench, and eventually sent him out of Philadelphia when the Eagles traded him for a second round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Even though things didn’t go quite as planned in Philadelphia, Kolb still has fond memories.
“There’s a lot of things [I miss],” Kolb said. “Obviously, like I said before, the locker room. I mean I have a great locker room here as well, but I do miss the guys and the coaching staff. Coming in as a pup, that was the offense that I learned first and I was taught certain things there that I will never forget. I think the big thing is just coming in as a young kid, and then them helping me mature is one thing I will never forget and that I am very appreciative for.”
Kolb and Michael Vick became friends when they were backups to McNabb in Philadelphia. Kolb says that even though he’s proud of Vick and the way he’s handled himself in Philadelphia, there won’t be much pregame chatter on Sunday.
“I don’t plan on talking to them, just because it will be a little bit awkward trying to discuss the game,” Kolb said “I’ll see them before the game. I texted some of the guys last week, and was just offered some encouragement. A win is a win. I know that we all want to talk about the turnovers, and win by one point, but in this league, as a player and a coach. Every game is a tough one in this league, and if you can come out with a victory than who cares how you got it.”
It’s clear that Andy Reid and the Eagles know what makes Kolb tick, but Kolb also learned a thing or two about the Eagles during his time with the team. “I was thinking about it this morning. Offenses evolve and even though it is the west coast, they evolve with different things and protections are different,” Kolb said. “As far as real details, you can’t really get into it because then what if they counter it and trick you. I offer whatever I can, and then if something comes up in a game obviously I’ll do my best to pay attention and see if it can gives us an edge.”
Whether the teacher or the student will have the edge won’t be answered until Sunday. As two of the NFL’s few undefeated teams, the Cardinals and the Eagles both have a lot at stake. That’s the way it was all supposed to work out when Reid drafted Kolb, it just didn’t happen the way anyone planned.