As The Idle Rich pointed out today, Andy Reid provided a much more illuminating explanation of the quarterback switch to Sports Illustrated's Peter King than the one he has given us locals.
This here Internet thing has been really popular for more than 15 years now, and people often still don't grasp that just because you said something to somebody somewhere else, that doesn't mean people here won't find out.
"A young quarterback needs time to mature as he grows in the game," King quoted Reid as saying. "I don't think Kolb has lost one thing. He's a franchise quarterback. He will win games, and championships, for the Eagles. But I think it's a different deal when you go out there and can't make a mistake or you're going to get crucified, which is the way this thing might have gone if he went back in there now.''
To review: Reid has told us locals, repeatedly, that the move had nothing to do with Kolb or an offensive line that has given up an NFL-high 11 sacks and 19 quarterback hits through two games, he has said it is about Vick and his amazing, stunning play in six quarters since Kolb suffered a concussion in the opener.
But with King, Reid is acknowledging the only scenario that really makes sense to people who have followed the careful grooming of Kolb as Donovan McNabb's successor -- Andy sees Kevin so far struggling behind an unpredictable offensive line, and he's thinking that if the whole year is like that, Kolb will be labeled a bust and the whole rebuilding program becomes a disaster.
But if Andy yanks him now -- puts the focus on himself as "the bad guy," as he said on Wednesday -- then Kolb is the guy who never got a chance. And the Eagles might be able to eke out more wins with Vick this season, before he moves on in free agency, and Reid rebuilds the o-line (again) for 2011, or whenever football resumes.
As fortune would have it, Reid was scheduled to speak to the local media once again today, so your Eagletarian led off with a question about the "crucified" quote. Reid first denied saying it, then said he needed to see what King had written before he could comment. Then he announced it was time to move on.
Later, an Eagles spokesman said that after the presser, Reid read King's piece and agreed he said what was written. But he didn't want to explain what he meant.
King told your Eagletarian this afternoon that Reid did not mention the offensive line in their conversation. He said the clear sense was that Reid "believes Kolb is going to be the Eagles' quarterback someday," but that for some reason, Andy has changed his mind about this being the day.
Moving on, as Andy decreed, right guard Nick Cole missed practice with that knee soreness that has been bothering him forever, and Reggie Wells took all the reps, but Reid said Cole remains the starter "right now." Uh, oh, Nick, better talk to Kevin about this.