It had been 1,001 days since Michael Vick last played in a meaningful NFL game. So while the pregame hype around Vick’s comeback increased television ratings for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Week 3 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs, it was a backup — QB Kevin Kolb — who moved the offense for more than 400 total yards Sunday.
On a day that was supposed to be a coming out party for Vick and the Wildcat offense, Kolb simply stole the show by running the Eagles’ base offense with high efficiency. Thanks to three seasons in the system, he displayed a comfort and confidence that will take more time for Vick to acquire. Vick’s long layoff revealed the rust that comes with inactivity.
“We didn’t have proper workout facilities at Levenworth,” Vick told me. “The exercise equipment was stationed outside and once winter came it was too cold to even do that.”
While Vick struggled, Kolb flourished, completing 24-of-34 passes for 327 yards and two TDs while becomming the first quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards in his first two starts. Even more telling about his performance was that he overcame the three-interception game last week against the New Orleans Saints with no turnovers against the Chiefs.
I talked with Kolb last week, two days before his second NFL start.
“I need to stay aggressive throwing the ball down the field,” he said. “I’ve studied the winning quarterbacks in this league and I’ve noticed that the ones who win are not afraid to be aggressive and challenge the defense. I wasn’t that way when I arrived here, but coach Marty [Mornhinweg] and coach [Andy] Reid allows us the freedom to play with confidence where we can go out and make plays.”
Kolb has now more than solidified his place as the Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback behind Donovan McNabb. The Eagles have been clear on this all along — stating that Vick is not ready to take command of the entire offense. Veteran Jeff Garcia was brought in only after McNabb broke his ribs and while Vick was still under suspension in Week 2.
“I needed a second quarterback,” Reid said. “Jeff is doing me a favor by coming in while Donovan is hurt.”
After the bye-week, McNabb should be back to start against Tampa, while Kolb will go back to holding the clipboard as the team’s backup. Vick will be used exclusively in the Wildcat offense, but Kolb’s strong arm and accuracy has made things more than clear about who will play if McNabb returns to the training room.