Every step of the way, we find out a little bit more about Kevin Kolb. He is the team's starting quarterback, we know that already, but there are so many things to learn about him. On Monday, when he led a charge of more than a half-dozen veterans to take the field among the rookies and selected veterans at practice, Kolb stepped up. He is about doing, not saying. He is about performance. He is about taking nothing for granted.
We only take so much from these practices, although I admit that on Monday when I saw Nate Allen pick off two passes, one when he sprinted from the hash mark to the sideline to help over the top and make a leaping grab of a Michael Vick pass, and when I watched ends Brandon Graham and Daniel Te'o-Nesheim -- my leading candidate for Most Training Camp Fights -- get off the ball so quickly and use their hands well and get into the backfield, I was excited.
Just having Kolb out there, along with Vick and running back Mike Bell and defensive end Darryl Tapp and linebacker Ernie Sims, meant a lot. Kolb is here to win, to relate to the entire team, and to work and become a better football player every day.
"I have a lot of improving to do. Every day I want to get better and better. I think everybody on this team is very self-accountable, and everybody is going to put in the time to get done what needs to get done," said Kolb. "This is a great chance to get some throws in and work with the guys."
Kolb has had one amazing off-season, having been promoted to the starting job when the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb, signing a new contract and becoming a daddy for the second time as his wife Whitney gave birth to their second daughter. A whirlwind, yes, but Kolb really, truly seems to have everything under control. He is a cool customer under center and under the glare of the television cameras.
The media process for these OTAs is to allow the media to film the first 10 minutes or so of practice and then allow the reporters to watch practice from the sidelines. After practice, the cameras and reporters are able to grab players as they come off the field, rather than storm the locker room. It works well when the players are cooperative, as has been the case with this team for a long time. Monday was no different. Both Kolb and Vick answered a lot of questions from the dozen-plus reporters on hand.
For a young man, Kolb really gets "it." He answers every question thoughtfully and he gives reporters plenty of time to work their angles and develop their stories.
It means nothing as it pertains to Kolb's play on the field, but we're still in the learning phase with Kolb to see what kind of guy he is, what kind of leader he will be, and how many wins he can help deliver to the Eagles.
"You're just renting time from the NFL. So I want to make this thing count, make a run and go win a Super Bowl," said Kolb.
Sounds good to me. Even when he was away, home in Texas with his family, Kolb worked out with a local high school team -- Glen Rose High School in Glen Rose, TX. It is where Kolb goes when he heads home -- Glen Rose is about 15 miles away from Kolb's family home, and the coach there, Tommy Dunn, was Kolb's coach in high school at Stephenville High School.
Dunn is now the head man at Glen Rose, and Kolb is welcome to come by any time.
"Not very many teams get to work out with an NFL quarterback and it is a thrill for the kid and it's good for our program," said Dunn. "We like having him around. I coached Kevin in high school. We have a pretty good relationship and he loves our kids. He mentors the kids and has a great time with them. Any time he is around, Kevin comes by. We have a net he can throw into, but it's always better when you have people around. In the summer, when he's in town, he'll come work out with the kids at the workout stations and we get after it pretty good."
Dunn has nothing but great things to say about Kolb, the starter at Stephenville for three seasons. The calm, cool and collected Kolb you see now is the same player and person he was then.
"He's always had a real mature view of how to go about his work. He has always taken it very seriously and has always been mature, more mature than his age," said Dunn. "I don't know that he has changed all that much. He is good for people to be around people.
"I was around him for three years in high school and I can't say I've seen anything other than really calm. Even when he was a sophomore starting here, he was unflappable. He is just one of those young men who takes things as they come and handles it and then goes out and gets the job done."
Kolb is now here, working out with new faces in this phase of the spring camps. Many of the players on the field Monday won't make the team's 53-man roster, but that didn't matter to anyone. What mattered was doing each drill the right way every time.
"I have a lot of things I have to work on. Mini-camp didn't go as smooth as I would have liked, so I just want to get completions, continue to work on my fundamentals and get better," said Kolb. "When I leave here, I want to say, 'All right, just stay where you're at.' That way, when I get into training camp, I'm ready to roll and I'll feel confident going into the season."