It happens at least once a practice: Kevin Kolb will drop back to pass, go through his reads and fire a dyslexic incomplete pass. The Eagles quarterback will then smack the side of his thigh or shake his head or slap his hands together or mutter something out loud that clearly demonstrates his unhappiness.
It hasn't been a common occurrance during team workouts at the NovaCare Complex, although Kolb hasn't had much help from the assortment of rookie and just-trying-to-make-the-team wide receivers he's had to pass to this week. But Kolb's practice demeanor as the starter has been notable for a few reasons.
For one, it stands polar to the way Donovan McNabb conducted himself on the Eagles practice field for over a decade. McNabb was loosey goosey. He smiled a lot. Liked to joke around with his teammates. If he was errant on a pass he would react and motion and yell, but he did it all with a laugh and a grin. Kolb just grits his teeth and stares.
Much could made of this, especially considering how McNabb was often criticized for his mannerisms. The point here isn't to say that one way is better than the other. It's just an observation. McNabb and Kolb have, in many ways, completely different personalities -- both on the field and off.
Interestingly enough, Kolb has already faced some nit-picking about his displays. From his own coach. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg often teaches his quarterbacks to keep their emotions in check and their body language impassive. Kolb, though, isn't apologizing for his ways. (Sound like anyone else?)
"I've been that way since the day I was born," Kolb said earlier this week. "Marty tries to pull me back on that sometimes. But sometimes I think it's good. He gets me to not show it, but sometimes I think guys in certain times need to see their quarterback get angry and go look, 'Let's flip the switch here and get going.'"
Earlier this month at minicamp, coach Andy Reid didn't seem too concerned about Kolb's effusive practice behavior.
"He forgets the last play but he's going to beat himself up over [mistakes]," Reid said. "That's okay, that'll make him good. He's got drive. He is put in a position with great expectations. As long as your expectations are greater than those around you, that's a good thing. He puts pressure on himself and there's nothing wrong with that. You need to be able to do that at that position."
I can see the comments now: "Kolb's a leader! He'll get in the players' faces on the sidelines! All McNabb used to do was sit on the bench with a towel over his head!"
Of course, this theory could gain traction when the team president says something that could be taken as a slight against a certain former Eagles quarterback. On occasion, Joe Banner is interviewed by the team's Web site for a video feature called "From the President's Desk." In the latest offering, the subject of leadership was broached in light of the fact that the Eagles have lost some valuable pieces in that regard over the last two years.
Banner's response: "I think we're at a stronger position, as far as leadership, as we've been. And we've had great leadership here."
Brian Dawkins. Brian Westbrook. Uh, McNabb?