Eagles Droppings 9/22: Kolb Being Traded, Kolb Speaks On Benching, Vick On Being The Starter and Two Picked Up For Practice Squad
By Lance Epstein
Kolb Gone by Trade Deadline:
A day after head coach Andy Reid named Michael Vick as the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, a barrage of questions came his way about whether Kevin Kolb has played his last game as a Eagle.
Yesterday at Reid's press conference he reiterated that Kolb had a bright future. He even hinted that his future was probably going to be with Eagles. On Wednesday, the situation got a little murkier.
When Reid was asked at his press conference on Wednesday whether Kolb would be on the 53-man roster past the Oct. 19 trade deadline, he made it seem like a deal could already be in the works.
"We'll just have to see," said Reid about a possible trade.
This is a far cry from Tuesday night where he declared Kolb's future was being bright in Philadelphia. From an outsider’s perspective, it appears as if Reid may not have wanted to deal Donovan McNabb.
Remember this offseason stories began bubbling to the surface about the upper management of Eagles not seeing eye-to-eye with Reid. President Joe Banner and GM Howie Roseman wanted to take the Eagles in another direction. Reid seemed content on keeping McNabb in the fold.
Nonetheless it wouldn't be the first time, Reid has not gotten his way. During the previous offseason (2009), Reid anticipated that free safety Brian Dawkins would be back. In fact, he nearly guaranteed it several days before Dawkins signed with the Denver Broncos. Needless to say, Banner allowed one of the most beloved players in recent Eagles history to walk.
What does this all mean? It means that Reid might need to win now to save his job. Therefore he was forced to start Vick. Perhaps if he fails, Banner and Roseman will pin the McNabb deal on Reid and start searching for his replacement. Just something to keep an eye on.
As for Kolb's trade value, it was much higher this offseason. At one time ESPN's Adam Schefter was reporting that the Eagles could have received a first round pick. Now, it is unlikely that the Eagles would get that compensation due to his concussion problems and poor performances (preseason and two quarters).
Nevertheless, the Eagles have made some bold and surprising moves over the past two seasons. It should shock no one if Vick is extended (at some point this season) and the Eagles look to trade Kolb to the Browns. Former Eagles GM Tom Heckert is the current general manager of the Browns and drafted Kolb.
Kolb Not Happy With Benching:
Certainly (QB) Kevin Kolb is not the first quarterback that head coach Andy Reid has bench during his tenure. He did it to the best quarterback the franchise has ever had in Donovan McNabb.
Still, Kolb was not happy as he returns to being the backup for the fourth year in a row.
"I want to be out there," Kolb said. "I feel like I'm a starter in this league and I'm a competitor. But at the same time, I'm a team player and I'm going to do what's best for our team, do what I can for Mike (Vick). Again, it's tough because I feel like I could be out there, but Andy always takes the best interests of the team first and he always takes the best interest of his players too. So you have to trust him.
"It's something I didn't expect. I don't think anybody expected it. There are some changes and part of being an NFL player is being able to adapt to those changes and still making it work so that's what I'm doing right now.
On the other hand, he understands the nature of the business and that Vick's impressive performances could not be overlooked.
"The NFL is a tough spot and you have to compete every day," he said. "I understand that, I understand that Mike's playing great. Again, I want to be out there. The hardest thing is you want to go to battle with your guys. We've spent a lot of time together and I want to be out there fighting every down with them."
While Kolb is upset, he appreciates the compassion of his teammates, organization and the fans. He also knows this must not ruin the chemistry in the locker room.
"I think everybody's compassionate, but at the same time, in this league, you have to pick up and you have to roll," Kolb said. "If we let this linger in the locker room, then it'll hamper us and we don't want that to happen."
Even though Kolb is saying all the right things to the media, his demeanor speaks louder than his words. He appears to be frustrated as it was his time to be in the spotlight. Again he is saying everything a good employee would say, but privately he could be demanding his exit from the Eagles franchise.
The question is, do the Eagles trust Vick enough to be the franchise's quarterback for the foreseeable future? A question that needs to be answered before Vick's contract expires at the end of the year.
Vick On Being The Starter:
Two years ago, Michael Vick sat in a prison cell and did not know if he would ever be a starting NFL quarterback again. On Tuesday night, Vick got the opportunity of a lifetime, a chance to star as the Eagles starting quarterback.
"I've worked hard over the last two years," Vick said. "Without the hard work and the effort and the enthusiasm, it won't happen for you. You have to be willing to put in the work and I had the fortitude to do it."
Vick understands how important this second chance is and he let Eagles fans know that this is just the beginning.
"It took a while for it all to soak in," Vick said. "I just really had to think about the opportunities and how far I've come and how hard I have to work moving forward. This is just the beginning."
Hopefully for Eagles fans, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. In his first start since 2006 against the Lions, Vick completed 64 percent of his passes (21-34), threw for 284 yards and had two touchdown passes. More impressively, in six quarters of football, Vick has a 105.5 QB rating. Still, Vick is humbled and surprised by the news that he is the No. 1 guy now.
"You always envision good things. You have to in this league or you're doomed. I never thought that what I did on Sunday would catapult me into this position," Vick said. "My role as a backup was to be the best backup that I could be and be there for Kevin (Kolb) for whatever I could and support him and help him in any situation. It came as a surprise, but it's a blessing in return."
Unlike his previous stint in Atlanta, Vick has a realistic understanding of what it takes to be an elite quarterback in this league. As a Falcon, he never was consistent from game to game. Additionally, he never worked hard to become better.
Since joining the Eagles that tune has changed. He learned that work hard is a must and that he needs to take accountability for his mistakes if he expects to maintain the starter's role.
"The key to this game is staying consistent. This league is all about consistency," Vick said. "I know how hard I've worked and what it's going to take to be successful, so that's what we have to do."
For the first time in Vick's career, he has shown maturity. During his tenure in Atlanta and at Virginia Tech, he never grew up. The fans loved him for his ability to make phenomenal plays with his legs, but made the same mistakes as he always did. He would take off before going through his progressions.
Even when he had a poor performance and the team lost he did not take it to heart. On Sunday he had his eyes down the field looking to be a passer first and runner second. Furthermore, he was upset at himself for leaving a ton of plays on the field.
Now, he is working harder then he ever has in his life. He knows there is no tomorrow for him. If he fails, he loses potentially millions of dollars and the chance to be a starter again in the NFL.
Eagles Add a Pair to Practice Squad:
In the least exciting news of the day, the Eagles announced that they have signed wide receiver Rod Harper and safety Jamar Adams to complete their eight-man practice squad.
Adams signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2008 NFL draft with the Seattle Seahawks. For much of the past two seasons, Adams was on the Seahawks practice squad. However, he did receive two opportunities to be on the active roster. In seven career games, he has only played on special teams and posted just four tackles. He is one game away from not being eligible for the practice squad.
Like Adams, Harper signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2008 NFL draft. Harper signed with the Saints. In 2009, he was expected to be a contributor on the Saints active roster. However, he was placed on injured reserved after he broke his foot. At the end of August, he was released as the Saints needed to cut down to a 53-man roster.