Philadelphia Eagles News

Transition Not Just New For Kolb

Andy Reid has had it better than most coaches in the NFL. As he enters his 12th season as the team's head coach, this is only the second time where he will make the transition to a new starting quarterback.

The last time was 10 years ago when Donovan McNabb took the reins of the offense on his way to becoming the winningest quarterback in franchise history.

Sure, other quarterbacks have started and won games for the Eagles. In fact, quarterbacks not named McNabb are 13-11 as the starter since 2000 for the Eagles. Take away the abysmal 2005 campaign and that record is 11-6.

Two of those games were started by the new man in charge - Kevin Kolb. With McNabb injured last season, Kolb became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 300 yards in each of his first two career starts. Between the experience from backing up McNabb for three seasons, the in-game reps and extensive college preparation, this transition will be much different for Reid compared to the one 10 years ago.

"Guys that are coming out in the last five years had decent exposure to the blitz game. I think (Kolb) was caught up a little bit ahead of what Donovan was just as far as seeing more blitzes. And then two, he hasn't been forced in there," Reid said. "With Donovan, that was a rush-rush thing to get him in there. Kevin has been able to sit back and learn and then gradually be put in games where he's had a little experience before. He's been exposed to the offense before getting into games; a little different situation."

Certainly, all eyes have been on Kolb as he took control of the offense during these spring mini-camps. Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg both came away impressed with how Kolb has handled the added responsibility.

"I think he's done a good job. He's got good command in the huddle and I think the players respect him," Reid said.

"I think he did a nice job. He's done a heckuva job with that really throughout the several years he's been here as well," Mornhinweg said. "I thought he performed at a high level and handled all of the things both on and off the field very well."

For the most part, Kolb has been able to grow into his new role quietly within the confines of the NovaCare Complex this off-season. He did take part in the recent Eagles End Zone Anniversary event at the Rockvale Outlets where some fans camped out overnight to meet the new starting quarterback. Kolb certainly didn't receive that kind of attention as the backup quarterback. Now, Kolb will be leading the team at training camp where thousands of Eagles fans will be able to scrutinize everything he does.

Kolb said prior to the end of the Organized Team Activity that he's looking forward to the energy that the fans will bring to Lehigh. But eventually there will be the comparisons to McNabb whether it's from fans or reporters.

"You've got to have blinders on and cotton in the ears. You can't listen to all that," Reid said. "Anything that takes away from you being the best, you put aside. He'll do that, I think he's got a pretty good feel on those types of things.

"He's got to put his own stamp on this thing. He's got to forget about all that stuff other than all the great things that he learned there and move on. Not comparing himself to Donovan or any of those things there. Just be Kevin and go play. I think he's taken the first step and he's done a nice job of that."

If Reid can make another seamless transition, much like he did 10 years ago, he will likely need to sign a contract extension or two before another one is needed.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:00 p.m., June 11

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