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Falcons Are No Stranger To Young QBs

With Kevin Kolb on tap to start at quarterback for the second straight week, the Atlanta Falcons prepare to face an unfamiliar opponent, a quarterback with only four career starts under his belt.

But the Falcons are no strangers to young quarterbacks. In 2008, Atlanta used the third overall pick in the NFL Draft to select Exton, Pa. native Matt Ryan. The pride of the William Penn Charter School and Boston College, Ryan threw for 3,440 yards and 17 touchdowns in his first year, on his way to the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

While Ryan has yet to meet Kolb, something he looks forward to doing this Sunday, he did have advice to offer the Eagles quarterback.

"I think the biggest thing is to remain even-keel, levelheaded," Ryan said. "You have to understand that there are going to be good weeks, and there are going to be not-so-good weeks. If you can just focus on preparing during the week, learning from your mistakes the week before, whether you played well or you played poorly, just try and play better the next week. "

Sound advice from a quarterback described as, "a pretty levelheaded guy," by Atlanta head coach Mike Smith. Coming into Philadelphia, Smith expects Kolb to run the Eagles offense effectively and execute successful drives. After all, Kolb was extremely efficient last week in San Francisco, completing his first nine passes and finishing with a 68 percent completion percentage.

Speaking from experience, Smith would be surprised if Kolb didn't progress with each game he plays.

"I think Kevin Kolb is a very talented quarterback, and the maturation process I think gets enhanced and sped up by going out there and playing the game," Smith said. "I really believe that the best way to learn the game is to play the game."

Kolb will start the fifth game of his career today at Lincoln Financial Field, and looks to get his second win in front of the home faithful. That would, of course, get the Eagles their first home win of the 2010 season.

-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 8:00 a.m., October 17

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