Jul 232010

July 23 Philadelphia Daily News

“OFFICIALLY, Kevin Kolb became the Eagles’ starting quarterback on the evening of April 4, when Donovan McNabb was traded to Washington. In another sense, though, Kolb is still becoming the starting QB.

Easter Sunday was the “paperwork” date of Kolb’s ascension. The unofficial part of the organization’s most significant transition in more than a decade – you could call it the “real” part – started with minicamps, but it accelerates this coming week at Lehigh, when the team reports for training camp.

This will be the first camp the Eagles have opened without McNabb since 1999, when the franchise quarterback was a rookie holdout. Next week, for the first time, fans will watch the team work out under Kolb, who will begin to set forth his expectations, to set his tone, with a young team that figures to need plenty of direction.

It’s going to be different, obviously, for everyone.

“How can it not be?” asked radio talk show host and former Eagles linebacker Ike Reese. “You’re so used to Donovan being the first guy to speak [to the media] after Andy [Reid]. But in this case, I think it’s a good difference. There’s an energy, an excitement the fans need and the media needs, and the players, too. The players needed that cloud [of uncertainty] removed from over their heads.”

Reese perceives “a steady decline” in Lehigh fan enthusiasm since the Super Bowl year of 2004, something he thinks the change in leadership might start to reverse.

“I can’t wait to get up there, to see what the actual buzz is from the fans,” he said.

Kolb said he has thought about that as well, the fans’ first glimpse of him in charge.

“It’ll be exciting,” he said. “Everybody, including ourselves, will get geared up for what’s to come.”

Kolb said he has no plans to formally address his teammates next Thursday evening, when the veterans join the rookies, who will report Monday.

“That’s not really my style. I’m not really a rah-rah guy. I’m more of a lead-by-example, let things come naturally [person],” Kolb said. “I don’t think that’s expected of me. If I thought that it was needed, I would do so. I feel like at this point, guys know what they get from me and they trust me.”

It isn’t like Kolb is new to the locker room, having been drafted in 2007, even if he has just played in a dozen games, starting two.”

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