Kolb solid in Eagles win

Kevin Kolb scrambles with the football the first quarter. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Kevin Kolb looks fine.

With that, feel free to go read the Phillies story.

We have miles to go before we know anything -- miles and years, if truth be told. Kolb clearly is a competent NFL quarterback already, and what he did Friday night in the Eagles’ first exhibition game against the Jacksonville Jaguars demonstrated what we already knew. He cannot possibly begin to make the jump from competence to excellence, not yet, not here, no matter how much we want to pretend it can be so.

With that, no significant news was committed in the Eagles’ 28-27 victory -- other than that the Eagles’ backup secondary showed itself to be kind of tertiary. As far as the great quarterback conversation is concerned, it really has not yet begun.

Nothing to see here, then.

Really, Kolb is not going to be an issue.

“It was good,” he said, assessing a night when he went 6-for-11 for 95 yards but settled for two field goals. Tight end Brett Celek juggled and dropped a touchdown pass, and Eagles coach Andy Reid yanked the starters at the end of the first quarter, in the middle of a third drive.

“Obviously, when you get down into the red zone, you want to score points but both drives were successful,” Kolb said. “We racked up some yards there and put six points on the board, then had a chance there with our third one. Overall, I thought it was good -- but we’ve got to get better in the red zone.”

Picking apart Kolb’s performance is expected, as is the printing of this bulletin from the Washington Redskins: Donovan McNabb was 5-for-8 for 58 yards and a touchdown in his exhibition opener against the Buffalo Bills. It is going to be like this all year, this comparative stuff, this peeling away of layer after layer of the onion in search of something other than more tears. Anyway, here goes.

Kolb’s first pass, a slant over the middle to DeSean Jackson for 21 yards, was delivered on time and in stride. It is the kind of throw that Eagles fans close their eyes and dream about when they see Kolb, the kind of throw that McNabb was less likely to deliver.

Kolb’s fourth pass was incomplete over the middle to Jason Avant near the goal line, forced into a hole that wasn’t there. It would have been intercepted if Avant had not fought to break it up. It is the kind of throw that Eagles fans close their eyes and worry about when they see Kolb, the kind of throw that McNabb was less likely to deliver.

There is going to be that tension there all season long, the tension between that things Kolb will likely do better than McNabb (primarily, the accuracy things and the getting-rid-of-the-ball things) and the things that he will likely do worse than McNabb (throw ill-advised interceptions). Some kind of plus-minus calculation will have to be worked out -- because it is what we do, put words and numbers to emotions and concerns.

Dreams and worries, then.

Even now.

“We know we’re talented,” Kolb said. “We know there’s talent on the field all over the place. We just have to execute. We’re doing our own thing. We don’t need to force anything. We’re a young bunch. We’re excited about the way we started things today and we just need to keep moving forward next week.”

Continue Reading