As far as timing goes, it could not have worked out any better. Kevin Kolb signed a contract extension through 2011 on Thursday, held the press conference at the NovaCare Complex and then walked confidently into the present as the undisputed leader and starting quarterback of the Eagles. He has prepared all off-season for this moment, for the opportunity to take control of the offense and get back into the groove of being a starting quarterback.
Now, there will be no questions to Kolb about his contract. There will be no sense of a lack of commitment perceived from those critiquing the relationship between the Eagles and Kolb. There will be no sub-plots about Kolb's salary should he mature quickly as the starter.
Now, it's just football. No drama.
Taking care of Kolb, and doing on the first day of the post-draft mini-camp -- reporting day for the players -- was a stroke of perfect timing for the Eagles and for Kolb. You wonder how this transition is going to go after 11 seasons with Donovan McNabb. To not anticipate bumps in the road is to approach this season foolishly. The key is to minimize distractions, do the best possible job eliminating potential problems and see the entire team grow together in the same direction.
And so there was Kolb, speaking confidently of his month to remember -- the trade of McNabb nudged Kolb into the starting role, his wife Whitney gave birth to their second daughter and now his contract -- and of his natural transition to The Man. He handled the day in stride, just as he has handled every bit of his brief career as an Eagle.
Throughout the weekend, then, it's just X's and O's and executing the practice plan and there is no -- none, zero -- side issues with Kolb. We'll see how he runs the huddle, how he makes his reads and how he delivers the football.
Step one, the contract, is out of the way. There are, of course, many more to come.
NEWS, NOTES AND THIS AND THAT **
- Defensive end Brandon Graham says he feels good about where he is as far as understanding some of the mental concepts of the defense, a good thing since he will miss Saturday and Sunday of this camp as he goes back to Michigan to graduate. Graham will only practice twice on Friday before heading back to his college graduation.**
* Take what the initial positions played by some of the draft picks with a grain of salt, because things are going to change. Linebacker Keenan Clayton indicated he would line up on the strong side in this camp, and Ricky Sapp -- a defensive end/Bandit at Clemson -- said he would also get reps as a SAM linebacker. We'll let you know how they do.
- I've talked to a lot of folks about fourth-round draft pick Trevard Lindley and I'm convinced that he is far more talented than his draft stratus. The high ankle sprain he suffered as a senior lingered through the post-season, including the Combine. Lindley is healthy, and we will get a lot of reps in this camp. The book on Lindley is that he is a "cover" cornerback and that run support is not his strength. But it sure is easier to help a young man improve in the run support game. If he can't cover, he can't play cornerback in this league.
- King Dunlap is up to about 325 pounds and is attacking the off-season. I expect him to make great strides on the field in this spring and summer.
- I really want to see Trevor Laws in this camp and, in fact, throughout the summer. He has to produce to make this roster. Laws was a disappointment as he faded from the tackle rotation last year and he has to realize that he is going to be pushed to make the team in 2010.