Philadelphia Eagles News

Reid: Kolb More Than Ready

No news is good news for the Eagles on the injury front, as head coach Andy Reid told the media that "everybody will be suited up and practicing today," in advance of the season opener this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

Reid called the Packers a "championship caliber football team," and said he expects a stern challenge, though he's also expecting a little boost from the hometown crowd.

"Our fans will be out of their mind and really be a 12th man out there," Reid said.

On the field, the big story will be the first game of the Kevin Kolb era, as the fourth-year quarterback takes the reins of the Eagles offense as the No. 1 quarterback for the first time. Kolb, of course, takes over from Donovan McNabb, considered by many to be the best quarterback in franchise history. Kolb's counterpart on Sunday, Aaron Rodgers, also took over from a franchise legend when he replaced Brett Favre. Reid said that he took Rodgers' recent success into account when making the move to Kolb, but it was not much of a factor.

"I looked at the situation in Green Bay. I think Aaron's done a phenomenal job taking over for an obvious legend," Reid said. "Kevin's having the same opportunity to take over for a legend ... but most of all, I looked at Kevin and the way he's handled things last year and since he's been here."

As for the comparison between Kolb now and McNabb when he first took over, Reid said it's not apples to apples.

"It's a different situation obviously," Reid said. "Donovan started his second year; this is Kevin's fourth so it's a little different situation. Every quarterback in this offense over the years has put his own brand on the offense. So I don't think it's fair necessarily to compare the two. I think Kevin will do it his way just like Donovan left his legacy and did it his way.

"Donovan's already been very successful in this offense and I would expect Kevin to do so."

One of the bigger uncertainties is the guy who will be snapping the ball to Kolb, Jamaal Jackson. Jackson is recovering from a torn ACL last December and he didn't participated in any preseason games. Reid said that he's confident in Jackson's level of play at the moment, but he'll be watching the veteran closely on Sunday.

"That's an unknown," Reid said. "I feel comfortable with (Jackson). He feels comfortable and the doctors feel comfortable. But I'm not going to tell you I won't keep a close eye on (his fitness throughout the game), I will do that. And Mike McGlynn and his experience at that center position will be important here."

Even though it's his first year as a starter, Kolb, 26, is already one of the elder statesmen on what is a young team that features 12 rookies. Because of that unmistakable youth, Reid said there's a definite energy surrounding the team, but it's imperative that "as coaches and as players that you cover all the bases and that you stick to the process, trust it and get to know the game plan and the opponent as best you can."

Two of those rookies, safety Nate Allen and defensive end Brandon Graham, will make their starting debuts on Sunday. Reid praised both players for their ability to get up to speed physically and mentally so quickly.

"I think we've all seen that (Allen) is physical and he's got good ball skills. He's continuing to learn every day," Reid said. "Brandon came in and he's in the starting position at left defensive end. He's got a great motor, very smart. Kid loves to play the game. He's got tremendous energy about him ... that's the way he plays, when he gets out there in game situations, he carries it out from practice into the game."

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 12:10 p.m., September 8

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