|Kolb should be celebrating his return to the No. 1 quarterback spot. (AP)|
Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett and safety Adrian Wilson knew something like Sunday could happen for former (and future?) Cardinals backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. Dockett and Wilson knew that, somewhere during the 16-game season, Arizona would need to call on last year's starter who lost that role to John Skelton this preseason.
So, when Skelton went out with a low ankle sprain against the Seahawks on Sunday, Dockett and Wilson hoped Kolb would be ready to step into his old role. And now with Skelton out for the time being, it's a good thing Dockett and Wilson kept tabs on Kolb after he lost the starting job.
"Me being in the league for eight or nine years, I'm not dumb," Dockett told Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter. "I knew his phone would ring at some point and we'd need him again. When you have leaders and captains down on you, it takes away all of your confidence. I wanted to be one of those guys who supported him even at his lowest, because when that time came for him to play again, even if others didn't believe in him, he could look at certain leaders and certain playmakers and know that they've got his back. That means a lot."
The main question going forward is whether Kolb can wrestle Skelton's job away now that Skelton is out. Rapid Reporter Craig Morgan asked coach Ken Whisenhunt about that earlier this week and Whisenhunt responded by saying, “I don't even know why that would be a question. I can't look into the future and say what's going to happen six weeks from now. I can only tell you that we'll see what happens with John and how quickly he gets back health-wise.”
But it also makes sense that Whisenhunt would be pulling really hard for Kolb to play well enough to justify keeping him at No. 1 when Skelton is healthy. After all, one reason the Cardinals acquired Kolb from the Eagles for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is because Whisenhunt helped convince ownership that it was the right move to make.
If the Cardinals win with either quarterback, Whisenhunt will be fine. If not and Kolb continues to flop as the Cardinals starter (Skelton, you'll remember, was 5-2 as the starter last year while Kolb went 3-6), Whisenhunt might not have his job much longer (which is what I predicted in “For the gambler in you” in Week 1).
Either way, Wilson hopes Kolb was humbled by his latest demotion -- humbled in the way that makes him appreciate the starting job when he has it.
"I hope he understands what he has to do from this point forward. He has to play with that same type of edge all the time,” Wilson said. It's not something that you do sometimes. It's an all-the-time thing. He had an OK preseason and didn't win the job, so now he has something to prove. There's a different level of 'want to.' So I hope it was very humbling for him."
Well, it was humbling enough for Kolb to finish the series that Skelton had to leave in the fourth quarter and throw a game-winning touchdown pass to Andre Roberts to knock off the Seahawks.
"Having gone through the same thing with Philly two years ago, that whole experience really helped me," Kolb said. "I didn't expect to lose my job after only four starts with the Eagles. It was frustrating but I learned to stay positive and trust in the Lord. I didn't sulk during the week. I tried to stay right and had a good week of practice. I figured I would get another chance. I just didn't expect it to happen this quickly."