A few days ago, Dimitri Patterson, playing left cornerback, jumped an 8-yard hitch route near the sideline and picked off quarterback Kevin Kolb. This morning, it was Asante Samuel's turn to jump the same 8-yard hitch and Kolb was again ready to fire the ball into the hands of the defender. But this time, as Kolb went to the throw the ball into the waiting hands of the defender he held up before releasing the ball, pulled the ball down and scrambled for an easy first-down gain. That Kolb learned from his previous mistake and made the correct adjustment is as good a sign as any for the four-year veteran going into his first season as the starter.
"He threw it the other day, came back today and learned from it," head coach Andy Reid said. "That's what he's doing. When Kevin makes a mistake, he learns from it and he makes progress and that's a very important quality to have. The guys who make (mistakes) over and over and over and over again, those are the guys who can't play at this level. It doesn't work for them. But (Kolb) studies it, he sees it, which is important, and then he reacts to it, which is even more important."
Because it is Kolb's first year as 'the guy' under center, Reid isn't expecting perfection. But as long as Kolb continues to improve, the Eagles offense will be in good hands.
"He's had a little bit of (game experience)," Reid said. "Is it going to be perfect? No, that's not what it's going to be. He's going to have highs and lows, he just has to be consistent and work through them and stay confident; and he'll do that. But he's a young quarterback that has an opportunity to start, so as I've said before, he doesn't have to compare himself to anybody or try to do anything that he can't do. He just needs to be himself and execute the offense. I think he's very capable of doing that."
Of course, Kolb has a few obvious advantages over many first-year quarterbacks. In addition to the three-year apprenticeship he served under Donovan McNabb in which he became more than familiar in the offense, Kolb also has a multitude of weapons on offense including DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek. So there's no question that the future is bright for Kolb and the offense, especially with Kolb already showing good command of his teammates.
"He's very smooth (in the huddle)," Reid said. "He's able to get in there and give them information, which is important. Down and distance, both he and the center are giving down and distance, snap count if we go an off snap count, he's going to present it to them first. Now, this all sounds fairly easy here, but the clock is running. So he gives them the snap count if it's an off snap count, other than one, gives them the play, repeats the snap count, tells them situation, 'Hey, keep your eyes open for this, give me an extra step if it's a seven-step drop.' He's coaching them up in there as he's giving them the play, doing it in time, giving him enough time to get to the line of scrimmage with enough time to still make a check if he needs to. So I think he handles all that very, very well."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 12:12 p.m., August 9