Three years ago, the Brett Favre "will-he-won't-he" saga came to an end in Green Bay. Departing was a legendary figure at the quarterback position, and waiting patiently in the wings was the young heir apparent. This cool and steady first-year starter was no rookie, as he sat and watched one of the best at his position for three full seasons.
Sound familiar? It should.
The similarities between Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and first-year Eagles starter Kevin Kolb are seemingly endless. Unlike most other highly-touted rookie quarterbacks, both had to wait years for their chance to start. And both had to face the challenges of replacing a quarterback who spent over a decade at his position.
While they may be opponents on Sunday, Kolb knew exactly who to call when looking for advice earlier this year.
"The big thing I pulled from him was how he handled everything, the big picture," Kolb said. "That's with Brett (Favre) leaving , which is similar to me and Donovan (McNabb). Also, in my opinion, it's taking over good teams. It's not like young guys who come in and they're doing the rebuilding thing. We both have good teams coming in too."
It's never easy to make a change at the quarterback position. And it's even harder to replace a quarterback who's captained the offense for so many years. The Eagles begin that process on Sunday. The Packers have already accomplished it.
Since taking over as the "Big Cheese" in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers has led an offense in the top-10 in the NFL in passing yards for back-to-back seasons (eighth in 2008, seventh in 2009). Rodgers played himself into the Pro Bowl last season, and has finished fourth in the NFL in passing yards in each of the last two years.
The still-young Packers quarterback has a bright future ahead of him, but hasn't forgotten the difficulties that come with replacing a long-time starter.
"I think the transition is always a difficult period, but for me, I'm a full-time guy", Rodgers said on a conference with the Philadelphia media. "On March 15th, 2008 (or thereabout) I took over as the starting quarterback and just let those guys get to know me, my leadership style, and the way I went about my business …I think the changeover was easier for us because I was visible everyday and they got to see my personality."
Not bad advice for Kevin Kolb, whom incidentally, Rodgers admitted to rooting for.
"I've been a big fan of his because of the way he handles himself", Rodgers said. "I think he's done a nice job. It's never an easy situation but I think he's a talented guy…I'm excited for Kevin."
Rodgers will surely wish Kevin Kolb the best come Sunday afternoon. And he'll probably mean it starting Week 2.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 5:08 p.m., September 8