Let’s Just Call This the Post-McNabb Era

... and get Philadelphia "sports experts" to turn in their credentials

Already? A quarterback controversy after one game?

The game against the Green Bay Packers proved that it is premature to call this “the Kevin Kolb era in Philadelphia,” as Fox announcer Joe Buck did to start the game. It is just the post-McNabb era. And the first game just proved how tumultuous it is going to be. For the rest of the season we will be playing “Whose Era Is It Anyway?”

The only thing game one proved is that the so-called Philadelphia sports experts don’t know what they are talking about. Everything we read in the sports pages about this team and heard on sports radio was again wrong. “The experts” should turn in their credentials.[SIGNUP]

We were told for months that the offensive line was going to be a problem, and instead it was pretty good. We were told that the Eagles defensive secondary was going to be a problem, and instead it was pretty good. We were told that the Eagles defense would be better against the run, and instead it was better against the pass and couldn’t stop the run. We were told about all the potent weapons the Eagles had in their arsenal, and those weapons didn’t look all that impressive. And we were told that Kevin Kolb was going to be just fine and that he was not the problem, and instead he was not anything close to fine and after game one he is the problem.

To be fair to Kolb, he did suffer a concussion. To be fair to everybody else, he played like there was something wrong with him before the concussion.

And then there was Michael Vick.

Where are all of the people now who wanted the Eagles to drop Michael Vick over the summer? Today on the radio it sounded like the same voices now want Vick as the starting quarterback. It is amazing what one half of football will do in the NFL.

Michael Vick made us remember why he was a Pro Bowl quarterback before he was universally condemned as a dog-killing scumbag. More than the contrite interviews or the charity work, game one was the most important step in Vick’s public redemption. In sports, winning cures all. Just ask Ray Lewis or Kobe Bryant. And on Sunday Michael Vick played like a winner. Where Kolb looked lost, Vick took broken plays and magically fixed them with pure instinct. We forgot how fast he is. We forgot how strong his arm is. And now that we have been reminded of both, we wonder how good he could be with more playing time.

If Kevin Kolb is cleared by the doctors, he will start against the Detroit Lions this week. That puts a lot of pressure on the young man to put a helmet on his injured head. We can only hope he doesn’t push it. Because there will be even more pressure on him when he takes the field. For now he is not only compared to Donovan McNabb, but Michael Vick. In other words, Kolb not only has to battle the memory of what was, but the promise of what could be.

We have a history of quarterback controversies in Philadelphia under coach Andy Reid, and each should give us an indication what will happen this season.

The fans clamored for the young Donovan McNabb to take over the starting job and put an end to their Doug Pederson misery. Reid stuck to the plan and stayed with Pederson until he thought McNabb was ready.

Through the years, as McNabb was challenged by replacements like Feely, Garcia and Detmer who all showed flashes of brilliance. Fans again called for a change, and Reid stuck with the plan until he felt he had a new franchise quarterback.

So there is no reason now to believe that Andy Reid will move quickly to replace Kolb as the starter.

But what if Kolb is not ready to go Sunday and Vick runs for 100 yards and passes for 300 in a win over Detroit? Even then I believe Kolb will still be the starter against Jacksonville, if he is ready. But should Kolb perform like he did in the first half against the Packers, I can’t imagine even Andy Reid staying with him. Remember, Reid has to worry about his job too.

Last week Kevin Kolb was a strong and confidant young man ready to begin a promising career as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Today he’s suffering from the effects of a concussion and worried that the Kolb era may be the shortest era in city history.

The only tougher thing than playing in the NFL is playing in the NFL in Philadelphia.

LARRY MENDTE writes for The Philly Post every Monday and Thursday. See his previous columns here. To watch his video commentaries, go to wpix.com.