It was just another day for the Eagles and a quarterback situation that rolls by, no waves in the water. Kevin Kolb held court with the media at his lock at the NovaCare Complex. Michael Vick walked by on his way to the athletic training room, non-plussed and serene. Nobody raises an eyebrow at the scene any longer, which is remarkable in itself. When you step back, you have a better feeling for just how extraordinary this picture really is.
Probably because of Andy Reid's calm demeanor and his unflappable approach to the roster and his team and, yes, this dual quarterback story, the Eagles have made the very most of a situation that most teams would not have been able to handle. Who would manage things more smoothly than Reid has? He has taken the brunt of the criticism throughout and he has accepted the scrutiny. Reid, in fact, has invited it.
As it turns out, becoming the lightening rod in the whole "quarterback controversy," one that really began as the Eagles limped home from their playoff loss in Dallas last season, was the exact right thing to do. Once the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb, Kolb and, to an extent early, and then clearly later on, Vick became the story.
But everything had to first go through Reid. Thankfully. His presence as the alpha decision maker is a magical piece to this puzzle, one that I hope everyone appreciates for what is, and what could be, developing before our very eyes.
For 11 years the Eagles rode the talents of McNabb and he delivered wins, and division titles and trips to the NFC Championship Game and one visit to the Super Bowl. Then the Eagles made the deal with Washington and, well, we knew things would be different.
But this different? This kind of quarterback carousel and, as it turns out, brilliance, is once-in-a-lifetime stuff.
And I am here to make sure we all appreciate the historical relevance. On Wednesday, Kolb was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the victory over Atlanta. It was the second time in the first five starts of his NFL career that Kolb has earned the award, and it sparked a brief thought about the rarity of such an award. Twice in the first five starts of a career for a quarterback? I can't believe it has ever been done. Tom Brady when he took over for Drew Bledsoe, maybe. Dan Marino, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Ben Roethlisberger had a passer rating of 98.1 as a rookie, would be a possibility.
It doesn't matter, really. Kolb's place in NFL history is yet to be determined. His stock has skyrocketed of late, of course, and if you allow your mind to wander and get dreamy (I do it all the time) you wonder if maybe, possibly, Kolb has a chance to be a great quarterback. A really great quarterback. A special quarterback.
There are many mountains to climb -- starting this weekend in Tennessee against a superb defense -- and hurdles to leap before we think of Kolb in those terms, but who knows? That is how unusual this whole quarterback story is for me. As the day goes along, and I see Kolb and Vick going about their business in very cordial, yet very competitive ways, everything seems normal. There are no ego battles here. That Kolb and Vick are maintaining such a close and productive personal and football relationship is every bit as remarkable as the on-the-field side of the saga.
I don't know how this is going to end, or what the next chapter is going to be, or even how Reid handles the post-bye week decision when both quarterbacks are raring to start. My focus is on Tennessee and somehow beating a fantastic team that their place. But there are times when I just have to distance myself from the day-to-day routine and admire how rare and wonderful and, in Reid's words, "beautiful" this quarterback scenario has become for the Eagles.
What has happened here is beyond anybody's expectations. Absolutely nobody saw this coming. And I'm not sure how worthwhile it is to predict the next turn in the chapter. Appreciate it for what it is, though: This is a Haley's Comet of a quarterback scenario. On one hand there is Kolb, the young quarterback who waited for three seasons to start only to have his dreams dashed -- albeit temporarily -- by a concussion in the opening game of the season. Then there is Vick, who spent 20 months in jail and whose NFL career, and his life, was resurrected by the Eagles two Augusts ago.
These are two quarterbacks who couldn't come from backgrounds any different from where they came. And yet, they have come together to form the most unlikely headline in today's NFL. Heck, you could probably go back a long, long time to find something that approaches the unique storylines here.
The Eagles treat it like it is a ho-hum story, but of course it is not. It is a fascinating sub-plot to a season that has been full of them, and it has a chance to be one of the more substantial footnotes in the modern era of this Eagles franchise.