Starting his first game since Week 7 in Tennessee, quarterback Kevin Kolb was happy to knock some rust off even if the Eagles didn't come out with the victory. After all, it was a tall order to beat the starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys with a roster made up of mostly reserves – something they came within 60 seconds of accomplishing.
With the likes of Chad Hall, Riley Cooper, Clay Harbor and Jerome Harrison replacing DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy, Kolb made the most of what he had to work with, and led the Eagles to 13 points against the Cowboys' first-team defense.
"To be totally honest with you, I was seeing everything clear," Kolb said. "It's your body catching back up to the speed of the game. We call it second vision, but just the stuff that you feel around you, you're peripheral vision when you're pushing, when you're going to throw and a guy squeezes in and he's wide open, so just those little things."
Those are little things that can go a long way in a playoff game with so much at stake. Kolb said that as the game wore on, he started to feel the rhythm and speed of the game come back to him. Of course, you hope that all the starters remain healthy as the Eagles push forward in the playoffs. But getting Kolb back on the field Sunday will be critical if he is needed in the weeks to come.
"I learned a lot out there today," Kolb said. "I knocked some rust off and hopefully the situation won't present itself because we obviously want Mike (Vick) out there, but if it does, then I'll go out there as confident as ever and try to win the football game."
This has been a strange season for Kevin Kolb, and one that he admits has been difficult at times. No one is more of a team player, and Kolb has enjoyed this run towards the playoffs and the success of Vick, his good friend. But after entering the season as the starting quarterback, Kolb has had to control his emotions as he tries to stay ready each and every week.
"(This season) has taught me how to prepare better as a backup, making sure you're mentally focused," Kolb said. "It's taught me how to block out outside things sometimes and focus in on just the game.
"I think that tonight was just another one of those deals that you can throw in the bag that you learned from and, like I said, we've got to move forward and hopefully go win us a playoff game."
Kolb will now return to the bench where he'll do everything he can to help Vick and offense find success on the field.
But in the back of his mind, Kolb is always ready to put on his helmet and get into the game. And if that opportunity presents itself in the playoffs, you can bet he'll be prepared.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 9:23 p.m., January 2