x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

With Eagles next up, Kevin Kolb stays evened-up at the Cards

Kevin Kolb is getting a second chance in Arizona, who will face Kolb's old team, the Philadelphia Eagles, next.

Finding success in the first two games of the season, Arizona's Kevin Kolb, left, has been in the NFL long enough to not get too up when things are going well or too down when it all goes wrong.
Finding success in the first two games of the season, Arizona's Kevin Kolb, left, has been in the NFL long enough to not get too up when things are going well or too down when it all goes wrong.

Kevin Kolb lost his starting job in Philadelphia, then went to Arizona and lost it there, too. But John Skelton's injury has given Kolb a chance at redemption.

Now Kolb has a chance to embellish his comeback with a game on Sunday against the Eagles team that traded him away.

While his coach, Ken Whisenhunt, has not named him starter there is little reason to believe he will not be as Skelton works his way back from the sprained right ankle he suffered against Seattle two weeks ago.

Kolb entered the game with many of the home fans booing him, but he completed six of seven passes, including one for a touchdown with five minutes left, to lead the Cardinals to victory.

Last week, he helped the team to an improbable upset over the New England Patriots.

Next up are Philadelphia in a match-up of teams off to 2-0 starts.

Kolb acknowledges it will not be just another game.

"Obviously, there is a little bit of added incentive," he said.

Two years ago in Philadelphia, Kolb was named the starter for the season opener, only to be knocked out of the game with a concussion. Michael Vick relieved him and has been the team's No 1 quarterback since. Kolb said that experience has made him better able to handle what has happened to him in Arizona.

"The biggest thing I took is when it's high there, when things are going good, you can't buy into it because there is a lot of hype," he said. "Everybody is patting you on the back, and when it's low, good gosh, is the sun going to come up tomorrow? Although it's not quite like that here, it is the NFL and that's the way it is nowadays. As a quarterback, especially, you have to be able to ride those waves and stay level-headed."

Kolb came to Arizona with the label "franchise quarterback" already in place. The Cardinals sent the cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to the Eagles for him, then signed Kolb to a five-year, US$63.5 million (Dh233.2m) contract, with $21m guaranteed.

The pressure waws on, and the results were not good. After a season-opening victory over Carolina, the Cardinals dropped six in a row. Kolb went down with a turf-toe injury and Skelton relieved him.

A fifth-round draft pick out of Fordham in 2010, Skelton was not spectacular, but he had a knack for making things happen at the finish. Arizona won seven of their last nine to finish 8-8. Kolb, however, was 3-6 as a starter.

Whisenhunt said Kolb has handled his difficult situation "with a lot of class", adding: "He's been very consistent in his approach.

"It certainly hasn't affected his demeanour with the football team or how he's worked. I don't think you could ask much more of him."

Kolb has fans in Philadelphia, including Vick.

"We all know Kevin is a competitor and I know him as a great friend," Vick said. "I know he'll be amped up this week, so we have to be ready for him."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE