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Vick Starting, Kolb Backing Up Is A Beautiful Deal

Kolb Era On Pause, Vick Era Continues
By Lance Epstein

Just 24 hours ago, the Eagles and head coach Andy Reid were set to return to the Kevin Kolb Era. The era that just began in April as the Eagles dealt Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb to their division rival Washington.

What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday evening the Eagles franchise has had a change of heart as Reid addressed the media.

"Michael Vick will be the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles," Reid proclaimed. "I think his play has even exceeded expectations over the last two weeks. This has nothing to do with Kevin Kolb's injury. He's done a phenomenal job for us here. The future of Kevin Kolb is not slighted by this one bit. He has an opportunity to be what I would consider a franchise quarterback and very deserving of so. This is more about Michael Vick and his accelerated play. He's sitting there as possibly the hottest quarterback in the NFL at this time."

When the story first broke, some believed that Kolb was simply not fully recovered from his concussion or the Eagles wanted to ease him back into the starting lineup. However, that is not the case and Vick has earned the right to start. Reid proclaimed it, " ex superstar who now has regained his abilities."

Reid could not be more correct as Vick had one of his best passing games of his career. He was 21-34 for 284 yards with two touchdown passes against the Lions. More impressively, in six quarters of football the Eagles have scored 52 points with Vick under center and his quarterback rating is one of the best in the entire league at 105 percent.

"Very few quarterbacks can go out and play the way he played the last couple weeks and do the things that he did. He's playing exceptional football right now," Reid said.

Still, this was not an easy decision for Reid to waiver on. He took a couple of days to talk it over with the upper management and the two quarterbacks involved.

"I took plenty of time to evaluate it and this is what I think is right," Reid said. ""It's my obligation to make the proper decision.

"When you deal with a decision like this, you take as much time as you possibly need to take. The first person I met with on this decision was Kevin Kolb."

So does this mean that the Kolb era is already over after just one half of football? According to Reid, Kolb's future is as bright as it has ever been with the Eagles organization as he reiterated that multiple times during his press conference.

"This isn't about judging Kevin," Reid said. "Kevin is going to be a fine quarterback, a championship-caliber quarterback. I met with him the past two days and we shared thoughts. He's a young quarterback that I think the sky's the limit for. "

Furthermore, Reid believes Kolb will be fine. In fact, Reid insists that Kolb returning to his backup role will help him in the future as he matures into franchise caliber quarterback.

"He'll be fine, he'll be fine. The future is bright for Kevin Kolb. I actually think this helps Kevin Kolb's maturation process," Reid said. "This allows him to continue to learn and he'll do that.

Still Reid danced around the question about Kolb's reaction about being told that Vick was going to be the starter from here on out.

"Kevin Kolb is one of the most competitive guys I've ever been around, so he wants to be the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, but he's also a team player," said Reid about Kolb's reaction to being demoted. "He accepted it, but I'm not going to tell you he doesn't want to be the starting quarterback."

After listening to Reid speak about Kolb’s reaction, it would not be surprising if Kolb asks to be dealt before the week six trade deadline even thought the organization doesn’t plan on dealing him.

Certainly Kolb is not thrilled about returning to the bench after it was supposed to be his time to shine. Ultimately, the decision had nothing to do with Kolb's health nor the porous play of the offensive line, but Vick's performances over the past couple weeks.

Now the biggest question the Eagles face is can they accept Vick becoming face of the organization after his troubled past?

"One of the great things about America is you're given a second chance if you handle it the proper way. And I've mentioned this before, I think he's handled this the proper way," Reid said. "I think his teammates would all stand up for him, just as they would Kevin Kolb, but they would stand up for Michael for what he's tried to do in changing his life around, and I know I sit here and do the same."

Nevertheless, the Eagles find themselves in the midst of another quarterback dilemma, but this time it is Vick replacing McNabb.

It is hard to imagine that Kolb is willing to sit for another year and not know what his future holds in the Eagles organization. What makes the circumstances escalate even more is if Vick continues to look like an elite quarterback. If Vick thrives and manages to lead the Eagles deep into the playoffs then there is no way the franchise can let him walk away at the end of the year.

At the end of the day this could possibly mean Kolb could be on his way out of Philadelphia without even having played an entire game in his era. Unfortunately, this will also decreased Kolb's trade value.

No team will be willing to give up a high draft pick after the Eagles groomed him for three seasons then gave up on him after one half of bad football. That speaks volumes to other teams. They will interpret the state of affairs as the Eagles thinking Kolb is a bust regardless of how Reid defends his decision. Furthermore it shows Kolb couldn't beat out an aging McNabb or a quarterback that hasn't started a game since 2006.

Yet if you ask Reid, the franchise is sitting pretty.

"I will tell you, I think it's a great thing how he's (Vick) playing," Reid said. "I think we all sat there on Sunday and went 'wow, this guy is back, and maybe even a little bit better,' and that's a beautiful deal. I think that's a beautiful deal.

"What a lucky franchise and a lucky head coach I am to have two quarterbacks that I feel that way about. It's s unbelieveable. "

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