So That Worked Out Well for Everybody: Kevin Kolb Released by Cardinals

So That Worked Out Well for Everybody: Kevin Kolb Released by Cardinals

Sometimes a change of scenery is good for everyone.
Sometimes a change of scenery doesn’t work out for anybody.

Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the latter. The
two of them were the principals in a major offseason trade in 2011, but Rodgers-Cromartie
bolted for Denver in free agency this week, while Kolb was released by the
Cardinals on Friday.

While DRC pretty much ran his self out of town with his
questionable effort last season, Kolb was in part a victim of circumstances in
Arizona. He played behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and
as a result, wound up being hurt more often than not.

Kolb had a 6-8 record as a starter in two seasons with the
Cardinals, producing an 83.2 passer rating. That’s not great, but imagine what
he might have done with any sort of protection.

Maybe I’ll always think Kevin Kolb is a little bit better
than he actually is. Would like to see him get another chance – a better one at
that – somewhere down the line.

At least it wasn’t totally lose-lose from the Eagles’
standpoint, not yet anyway. DRC didn’t work out, but the team still scored a
second-round pick in the deal, which they turned into Vinny Curry and Brandon
Boykin last April.

Of course, Curry hardly played last year, and Boykin’s
ceiling might be as a slot corner, so who knows how much they really got out of that.

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Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."