Kolb believing in himself as Eagles QB

Feeling the fans on his side, Kevin Kolb settles in as Philadelphia Eagles quarteback

I saw where Eagles coach Andy Reid had some post-game fun with the quarterback questions for next week. Does he put Michael Vick, if he’s healthy, back in as the starter or stick with Kevin Kolb? Before I answer that, let’s remember how this all unfolded.

Vick got his chance because Kolb got hurt. He came in and did well, sparking the team, and then made it easier to stick with Vick because he kept playing so well and they won.

Now, it’s Michael’s turn to go out with an injury, and it’s the Wally Pipp thing. Back comes Kolb, who has come in now and played exceptionally in two straight games. He won on the road, and today he was great at home against Atlanta, a team we all thought might be the best team in the NFC.

The way I look at it is Andy Reid invested his team’s future in Kolb when he traded Donovan McNabb to Washington. Kolb has played well now two weeks in a row, and if he plays well next week against Tennessee, then, in my eyes, Vick is back on the bench and Kolb is the starting quarterback. I mean, if Kolb wins three straight games, then he is what Reid and the Eagles were hoping he was going to be at the beginning of the season.

OK, we all know Kolb struggled in that first game. But I do think he has benefited from watching Vick. I mean, he saw the Philadelphia fans embrace Vick, which he should have known was going to happen as long as he plays good football. I believe in Kolb’s mind now he knows if he plays well, they are going to embrace him, too.

I think this has taken the edge off for him. I’m sure he was concerned when he opened the season as the starter about how he was going to play and how the fans were going to react to him. I’m sure he was uptight and wanting to prove to them the Eagles made the right move in trading McNabb.

Let’s be honest. Philadelphia is one tough sports town. You can play great for 10 seasons there and do something wrong, and they are going to boo your ass. I think Kolb has definitely settled in now. You can’t tell me Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg, the offensive coordinator, are sitting in their meetings and not saying the same things I just did.

Did you see the movie Heaven Can Wait? The owner comes back in the body of the quarterback and he’s working out and starts completing passes, and the old trainer says, “You know what? He’s looking pretty good.” Then a couple others say the same thing, and pretty soon the general manager is saying, “Hey, he looks good.” And before you know it, he’s their guy.

I think this is the process the Eagles are going through right now. I do not think they will bring Vick back as the starter if Kolb plays well and they win next week in Tennessee. And if Kolb plays well and they lose, but it isn’t necessarily his fault, I think after the bye week that Andy is going to have to stay with him.

Why? Because Kolb is his guy. Kolb is his original guy.

And that move isn’t such a bad thing for Vick, either. He has shown everybody he’s a different guy and he’s worth a lot for another team to take a chance on him as the starter for the next two, three and four years. This is a very good situation for the Eagles.

Parity is back

I said it two weeks ago: If there ever was year of NFL parity, we are witnessing it right now. This season has unfolded exactly how they drew it up. We have Kansas City losing to Houston today, and it was a great game. Last season, nobody would have cared about that game.

We got the Lions once again playing the Giants tough. They have done that all season long. I know they keep losing all these games, but they sure put up a hell of a fight doing it. I think that when Atlanta went into Philadelphia , they were intimidated by the Liberty Bell. I mean, who the heck knows what is going on there? It was just crazy how poorly they played there.

And New Orleans finally paid attention to me and got back to the long ball like I told them do on the pre-game show. The Saints got back to being aggressive with their passing game. Granted, they did it against Tampa Bay, who may be an upstart team but is not there yet.

But the Falcons were the day’s biggest disappointment, because we all picked them to beat the Eagles. I will say to anyone who is reading this right now, any time you watch Fox NFL Sunday and see all of us pick the same team, well, go and put a dime on the other team.

Miami went into Lambeau Field and beat the Packers in overtime. That isn’t supposed to happen.

I was surprised at how slow the Falcons looked. They simply didn’t look ready to play. They looked that bad.

Carroll on right track

The Seahawks really surprised me going into Chicago and winning. But I guess we have to accept that Pete Carroll is a great coach. He is finding the mix of players he wants as the season goes.

I mean, he is finding the players he believes he can win with as he rebuilds that football team. Just think of the guys he’s been getting rid of like Deion Branch, who was a big star today for the Patriots. I got to believe he knows what he wants as he tries to put the pieces together.

Of course, he’s not going to get it all this year. But he does get guys to play hard for him. And that’s the key, unlike what Mike Singletary is doing in San Francisco. But Carroll is doing a lot of things right now. Look at what Marshawn Lynch gave him today.

The Bears weren’t very patient today on offense. Jay Cutler came back, and Mike Martz decided to start throwing the ball again. Funny how that works.

Ramdom thoughts

The Rams still aren’t a talented team, but they are 3-2 and they were plenty good enough to beat San Diego. When you look at the Chargers, I start thinking they had their shot. I mean, they have been good for three or four seasons now, but can’t seem to get over the hump. I love Philip Rivers, but the Rams sacked him seven times, and now Antonio Gates is hurt. The Chargers could be in trouble.

Sam Bradford continues to play well. He’s a calm, smart quarterback. I know the Rams love that rookie receiver, Danario Alexander, who caught that one touchdown today. He’s had a couple of knee operations, and they say he’s a freak, a real athlete who can fly. Had he not gotten hurt so much at Missouri, he might have been a top draft pick, and the Rams got him as an undrafted free agent. They have their fingers crossed he stays healthy.

I was so happy for Cleveland rookie Colt McCoy today in Pittsburgh. He put up great stats (23-of-33 for 281 yards and one TD) against the Steelers. He’s a quarterback I always loved watching in college. I liked him as an athlete and loved his quick release. He was a winner all the time at Texas. He looked pretty good to me after we heard he had an awful training camp.

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