Just 6 months ago Donovan McNabb was the starter and Kolb unsure of his future. The Eagles made the decision to shop McNabb. The national media thought this was lunacy. How do you trade a possible Hall of Fame player to play an unproven guy? The media could not wrap their heads around this. Many fans also shared that feeling of dismay.
How about the guys in the all important locker room? The consensus was for Kolb, not McNabb. The players really embraced Kevin and wanted him to be the starter for 2010 and moving forward. The crazy thing is that there was no specific group for Kolb. There was a mixture of veteran and young guys, offensive and defensive players, and black and white players. The team wanted Kolb.
Kevin had played well in his 2 starts. The offense had a real flow to it. Kevin felt like one of the guys. He trained at NovaCare. The fact that he was young did appeal to some of the skill players on offense. They saw the opportunity to play together for years.
Now we have a strange start to the year. Kolb is up and down in the preseason (as is Vick). Kolb struggles in the opener and suffers a concussion. Vick comes in, plays well, and almost leads us on a big time comeback. This week Vick leads us to a win over the Lions.
The locker room that loved Kolb just 6 or 8 weeks ago now is ready to forget about him? I doubt it. If Kolb was some outsider or relatively new guy, I could see that. He is in his 4th year here. Kolb is new to the national scene, but not the locker room. Those guys know how hard he's worked. They know he's patiently waited for his chance. They want him to succeed.
Vick is also a very popular player. I don't question that for a second. The point is that the locker room was Kolb's up until halftime of last week. I don't think that has changed. The players know this is Andy Reid's team. They know Kolb is Reid's guy. I'm sure there are a few players who'd like change. No vote is ever unanimous, but I think the vast majority of players are still with Kolb. Kevin does now have competition. I don't dispute that. He can't afford to play poorly for long and stay popular. Derek wrote that Kevin should only have a half to prove himself. I couldn't disagree more. You let Kevin play until you've got an answer. That will take more than a half. More than one game. How long is impossible to say until we see what in fact does happen.
Andy Reid, Joe Banner, Howie Roseman, and Marty Mornhinweg all agreed that Kevin was the QB to go with back in March. They believed in him enough to trade McNabb. The locker room also believed in Kevin and supported the move. How ironic that so many people now perceive the very group that backed Kolb to be his biggest hurdle. A poor half of football in the season opener by Kolb and 6 good quarters by Vick is going to change that? No. Nor should it.
Early Postgame Thoughts
* Lost in the late breakdown was the impressive comeback we made. Down 17-7 there was no panic. The defense tightened and the offense began to click. We scored 28 unanswered points.
* The game was ugly in many ways, but we did win. That's huge. 0-2 isn't a hole you want to have to climb out of. Just ask Dallas and Minnesota.
* DeSean delivered the big plays we needed from him. He's got to be an impact player for us.
* LeSean looked like a really good RB. He had 16 carries for 120 yards and 3 TDs.
* The Red Zone offense was a perfect 3 for 3. Shady had 2 of those TDs. Very encouraging.
* Vick did play well. He was 21-34-284 with 2 TDs. One thing to keep in mind is that we are talking about the Lions defense. They gave up more than 450 yards to the Bears last week. The Lions were last in D each of the previous 3 years. We did some good things, but Detroit has a very weak back seven. Their pursuit angles are horrific at times.
The key thing to remember about the Eagles right now is that we are not a veteran, established team. There are new starters all over the place. There are young guys on all 3 units. There will be growing pains. I'm sure some of the defensive breakdowns are due to missed assignments and sloppy technique. Sean McDermott has got a lot of work to do with his players. The talent is there, but the execution comes and goes. This is okay as long as we see progress.
The 2007 Giants won the Super Bowl by getting after the QB and playing very good defense, especially in the postseason. Things didn't start so great. In the first 2 weeks of that year, the Giants allowed 45 and 35 points respectively. I'm not promising we'll develop into that kind of defense or win the Super Bowl, but you do need to understand that a sloppy start doesn't mean the season will stay like that.
I'm disappointed by the defense to be sure, but the group plays very well in stretches. We've just got to eliminate some mistakes and get them to play at a high level for a whole game. One drive, one quarter, one half...it isn't enough. Play well for 60 minutes. Develop a killer instinct. Giving up 32 points and a bunch of yards to Shaun Hill and the Lions isn't acceptable.
* * * * *
Dallas is 0-2.
Washington blew a 20-7 lead and lost in OT.
The Giants were dismantled on SNF.
Life is good.