What they're saying about the Eagles

Today should be pretty quiet until 8 p.m. when the Eagles take on the Chiefs in Kansas City.

As always, I'll be chatting the game so be sure to join me.

The latest issue of Sports Illustrated has a feature on Kevin Kolb.

In the meantime, here's a look at what they're saying about the Eagles in the national media.

Yet another glowing piece about Kevin Kolb and his ability to successfully take over as the Eagles starting quarterback. This one is in Sports Illustrated. The blurb on the top of the front cover reads: Why QB Kevin Kolb is Philly Tough. The article is titled The Kid Can Handle It and the lead-in says:

A tough Texan who can take down a boar with a Bowie knife, Kevin Kolb isn't scared off by the pressure of succeeding Donovan McNabb in Philly.

NFL.com's Vic Carucci goes team-by-team, describing the drama that could unfold with each franchise this season. Here's what he says about the Eagles:

Kevin Kolb isn't getting much, if any, honeymoon period as a first-time regular starter. It can't be said enough that the Eagles made an incredibly risky decision by trading Donovan McNabb, the greatest quarterback in franchise history and still one of the NFL's best at the position, to the Redskins. Should Kolb encounter any prolonged struggle, hyper-critical fans and media in Philadelphia are unlikely to cut him or the Eagles' brass much slack. There will be calls for him to be replaced by Michael Vick. And there will be harsher criticism than ever of the Eagles' brain trust.

ESPN.com's Matt Mosley breaks down the most indispensable players (non-quarterback) on each NFC East team. For the Eagles, he chooses DeSean Jackson:

I believe Jackson is now the most dangerous player in the league. Whether it's on punt returns or crossing patterns, he constantly puts pressure on the other team. Having a player who is that dangerous can cover up mistakes in other areas. The Eagles feel like they're never out of a game because of players such as Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Jackson won't have as many catches as Maclin this season, but he'll find the end zone at least 12 times when you combine his punt returns and receiving touchdowns. We all made a huge deal of Devin Hester a few years ago, but obviously Jackson is the more complete player. Someone pay this man so he can go on about his business.

Jackson is a good choice. He poses a threat on offense that opens things up for everybody else. Who are some other options? Trent Cole would certainly be one. He's an elite defensive end who can get to the quarterback and is also very good against the run. Asante Samuel would be another, given his play-making ability and the Eagles' lack of depth at cornerback. You could even argue LeSean McCoy, considering how thin the Eagles are at running back.

John P. Lopez of SI.com names 15 under-the-radar rookies, guys who were not drafted in the first round. The rookie who makes the list from the Eagles might surprise you: undrafted free agent Austin Howard:

It's amazing that in a league that values tackles more than just about any other position on the field, the mammoth and quick Howard (6-7, 335 pounds) went undrafted. The Eagles have found a gem, all right, in this first season with Kevin Kolb as the full-time starter. Howard, who played tight end his first two seasons at Division I-AA Northern Iowa, won't be in the starting lineup to open the season, but rest assured he'll get there. He's stepped in and been physical, quick and shown good hands in every practice and preseason game.

If Lopez is predicting that Howard will get in the starting lineup this season, I disagree with him. That's not happening unless Jason Peters or Winston Justice gets injured. But Howard does look like a good find so far. He's slated as the backup left tackle, although they could move Todd Herremans over if Peters were to get injured. Howard has also been practicing as the extra lineman in goal-line packages.

And finally, SI.com names the all-time best player for every jersey number. Several Eagles made the list:

5: Donovan McNabb
9: Sonny Jurgensen
11: Norm Van Brocklin
17: Harold Carmichael

23: Troy Vincent
35: Pete Pihos
41: Keith Byars
92: Reggie White

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