The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles last weekend to give Arizona its first winning streak of the year. The Cardinals defense played great in the fourth quarter, allowing just one Alex Henery field goal to rally from a 14-7 deficit to a 21-17 victory.
It appears that quarterback Kevin Kolb might deserve some credit for Arizona's defensive performance as well. Why? The injured quarterback didn't spend a single minute on the field, after all, and he doesn't play defense. Kolb didn't need to do either of those things to be active on Sunday: according to NBC's Pro Football Talk, Kolb called out Eagles plays to the Arizona defense as he read Michael Vick's signals.
Here's a quote from Kolb on his role this past Sunday:
"During the two-minute drill, you almost feel guilty. Mike's sitting there giving the signals, and I'm standing there on our sidelines, screaming at our corners, ‘Hey it's a go ball, hey he's running a screen, hey he's running a slant.'"
This is a shrewd move by Kolb, who capitalized on his four-year tenure with the Eagles to help out his new team in a positive way. Of course, his comments cause all of us to wonder how much Kolb's play-calling actually helped the Cardinals defense and impacted the game.
No one will ever know whether or not the Eagles would have scored in the fourth quarter- and possibly won the game- without Kolb's insight. Based on the incredibly positive final result of the game, though, Kolb receives the benefit of the doubt and can claim some responsibility for the team's late defensive effort.
Kolb won't have this advantage moving forward, but it does provide him with bragging rights over second-year quarterback John Skelton. Talks have started swirling about Skelton replacing Kolb as the team's starter on the heels of Skelton's current two-game winning streak. Should the Cardinals defeat the 8-1 San Francisco 49ers this weekend, those talks will only intensify.
At least Kolb can point to this episode should such speculation arise: Skelton certainly has not been able to key a Cardinals defensive effort from the sidelines this year.