Eagles' Kolb wants a chance at redemption

"You always want to keep proving yourself," said Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, who passed for 391 yards in Sunday's lopsided loss to the Saints.
"You always want to keep proving yourself," said Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb, who passed for 391 yards in Sunday's lopsided loss to the Saints.
Posted: September 22, 2009

There's a good chance Kevin Kolb gets a second chance Sunday when the Eagles play the Kansas City Chiefs at Lincoln Financial Field.

Andy Reid made it clear yesterday that Kolb will be the starter at quarterback if Donovan McNabb has to miss a second straight game because of a fractured rib. The coach wouldn't say if Michael Vick or Jeff Garcia would serve as Kolb's backup, but the logical decision is to make Garcia the third quarterback if Vick will be dressing anyway.

McNabb gave a vague update of his condition yesterday through the team's media relations department, saying he "felt better than" he did a week ago, but he didn't know if he'd be ready for the game against the Chiefs.

"I wish I had an answer, but I don't," McNabb said. "Hopefully, things will continue to get better and I'll have one for you later. Hopefully, it will be quicker than later. I'm looking forward to being back out on the field."

So is Kolb, especially after crash-landing on the wrong end of a lopsided loss to quarterback Drew Brees and the high-powered New Orleans Saints' offense Sunday at the Linc. Some of Kolb's numbers – 391 passing yards and two touchdowns – looked good, but he was still beating himself up yesterday for throwing three interceptions.

"It hacks you off that there's this negative attitude, and you realize that maybe there is eight plays in there, and if we just do one little thing different, the game could have been different," Kolb said.

Being 9 yards shy of becoming the fifth quarterback in franchise history to throw for 400 yards in a game was no consolation to Kolb.

"When you're in our complex and this circle, it's all wins and losses," Kolb said. "That's what it all boils down to."

Kolb was still thinking about the turnovers, especially the interceptions. During his senior season at the University of Houston, he threw 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He always said he felt ball security was the strength of his game.

"That's what makes me mad," he said. "That has always been my M.O. I have to get better at taking care of the ball and not giving up the cheap ones."

In nine career games, Kolb has thrown seven interceptions and lost two fumbles. Nine turnovers in nine games with just one career start is obviously not the kind of resume any quarterback wants. Kolb examined all three of his interceptions on film yesterday.

The one that cost the Eagles most came early in the third quarter. After the Saints cashed in on a lost fumble by kick returner Ellis Hobbs with a touchdown, Kolb tried to connect with DeSean Jackson on a quick out, but instead threw the ball into the hands of linebacker Scott Shanle.

"It was a good adjustment by them," Kolb said. "After watching it of film, I put the ball where I wanted to put it and he made a good play on it. I just have to anticipate what he is thinking."

Kolb's second interception came late in the game and was returned 97 yards for a touchdown by veteran safety Darren Sharper. By that point, the Eagles had no hope of winning, but Kolb still was ticked at the throw.

"The one to Sharper was a bad throw and a bad read," he said. "Just bad. The guy [Brent Celek] was open."

Now, Kolb wants a chance at redemption and as long as McNabb can't play he'll get it. The fact that Vick will be eligible for Sunday's game against the Chiefs, and Reid is still backing Kolb as McNabb's backup made the former second-round pick happy.

"You always want to keep proving yourself, so every time he continues to have faith in me, it gives me more confidence," Kolb said. "You know he sees something there and hopefully, that turns into something. This week it has to. Hopefully, I can turn into the starter that he sees and wants me to be."

Kolb said "getting in a rhythm and getting a feel for the game" has always been one of his strengths, but he wasn't at all critical of the Wildcat formation, which figures to be a central part of the offense again Sunday when Vick becomes part of the equation.

"I liked it," he said. "One of the reasons we did it, too, was it's a lot of different looks. It causes them to get out of their routine. There are a lot more things that go into it than let's just run somebody else at quarterback. I thought it was a smart move and I thought it paid off for us."

Reid said he thought so, too, and was extremely defensive of his new offensive scheme.

"Whatever term you want to give the thing, it averaged 5.7 yards per carry and was very productive," Reid said. "I think we had five first downs with it."

Although someone other than Kolb only took the snap from center nine times, Reid said three other plays were also part of the unorthodox package.

"There were some good things from it," he said.

One of them was not a victory.


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

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