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Kevin Kolb now waits for another chance


If all goes well, Kevin Kolb has taken his last snap of the season for the Philadelphia Eagles.

That’s assuming Donovan McNabb’s broken rib is healed by the time the team comes back from its bye week and faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oct. 11. And also that McNabb does not suffer any other injuries the rest of the season.

“I’m sure it will be somewhat difficult,’’ Kolb, who became the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to throw for over 300 yards in his first two starts said of going back to being a backup. “But like I’ve said all along my job was to come in for these two weeks and that will be my job in the future. There may be another situation that arises, but nobody knows. So I have to stay ready and make sure that I’m right.

“I’m glad I was able to get a win, wish the first game would have gone a little better, but we’re on the right track and we’ll see what the season has in store for us.’’

Right now it’s back to holding the clipboard on Sundays, running the scout team in practice and waiting to see if another chance comes.

“I’ll keep the mindset of being a starter,’’ Kolb said. “Just because I think have to do that. We don’t know, and while I’m sure Donovan is going to be back. But if I don’t prepare like that and I am the starter than I’m all messed up. I’m just going to prepare the same way as I have these last two weeks and keep trying to get better as a quarterback.’’

Kolb knows he’s just a twisted ankle, a sprained thumb or another broken rib away from getting back to being the starter.

And he knows now, that he could do the job if asked.

Because just like you, he wasn’t sure himself two weeks ago when he made his first NFL start against New Orleans.

“It’s just confidence,’’ Kolb said, “confidence that you can get it done at this level in a game-time situation in a regular season game. And although you believe you can, nobody truly knows. And that’s why there is so much doubt in the air always with a young player.

“Hopefully, I’ll put the past behind me with the mistakes I made before. We can move on with what went on (Sunday) and I just don’t want to relax now. I want to just keep trying to get better in practice, if I’m not getting the game reps, then just keep getting better in practice and keep pressing.’’

Two starts don’t make a season, let alone a career. Kolb, however, did show more good than bad going 1-1 and earned both the respect and the confidence of his coaches and teammates.

“Kevin did a great job,’’ wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who connected with Kolb for a 64-yard touchdown pass in the win over Kansas City. “He’s a confident guy. He just needed the time to show everyone what he could do.’’

What Kolb showed was the ability to stand in the pocket, read the defense and make good decisions. He is susceptible to the critical mistake, and nearly had a couple of passes picked off by the Chiefs. Again, that’s the case with most young quarterbacks and the only cure is experience.

The problem is that isn’t going to come as long as McNabb is healthy.

“I thought he showed a lot of poise out there,’’ Eagles head coach Andy Reid said of Kolb. “He had good command. He made some real nice throws. I thought in the two games he played well. We probably like to have that one interception back at the start of the second half (against New Orleans), but he played well.’’

Now, he’ll watch and wait, but with the knowledge and the confidence that comes with knowing what you can do.

“You know the great thing, I think there’s two things,’’ Kolb said. “The preparation with the coaches, the way they’ve set up the game plan for me and made it simple, but efficient and the offensive line. Those guys made it really easy for me.’’

Kolb made it a little easier, too. If Sunday wasn’t his last snap of the season, the Eagles aren’t in trouble.

photo: www.everyjoe.com