Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb showed a different side during yesterday’s 28-27 win over the Jaguars. The first-year starter is usually known as a pocket passer, but on a few plays during the first quarter Kolb demonstrated his mobility and extended plays for the Birds.
When Philadelphia found itself in 3rd and 6 on its first drive, Kolb scrambled for a first down after seeing his receivers covered downfield. The University of Houston product also ran for nine yards on a play on the following drive. Perhaps more importantly than his scrambles were the plays when Kolb slid away from pressure and hit a receiver downfield.
“That was one of the things he did very well in college. He does a nice job of keeping his eyes down the field and looking for receivers,” said head coach Andy Reid. “The nice thing was that the offensive line created seams for him to be able to push up and move and throw. He’s good on the run. He does a nice job with that.”
Kolb put those skills on display twice in the first quarter, including a third down conversion on 3rd and 9 when he stepped up towards the line of scrimmage before connecting with Brent Celek for a 12-yard gain.
Kolb emphasized that he’s not the only one who deserves accolades when he makes a play with his legs. “It all starts with the offensive line. The thing that I always preach to them is to stay with your blocks. That’s what they did tonight,” Kolb said. “And our receivers do a great job on scramble drills. So, it’s a team effort when that kind of thing happens. Obviously, it is something that we want to continue to work on, and it can be another asset to our offense.”
The 25-year-old gunslinger may not have a reputation as a running quarterback like his predecessor, but at this point in their respective careers, Kolb may even have a step on McNabb. Kolb ran a 4.83 40 yard dash when he came into the league, which was certainly slower than McNabb’s 4.64. McNabb also ran a 4.45 on Syracuse’s pro day in 1999.
That was more than a decade ago though, and McNabb has since gained around 20 pounds, torn an ACL, broken an ankle and reached the ripe old age of 33. So even though the Eagles got rid of a signal caller known as a mobile quarterback, their “pocket passer” may actually be more fleet-footed.
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