Donovan McNabb wasn't the only Eagles quarterback who needed smelling salts last month after the team spent its top draft pick on Kevin Kolb. Kelly Holcomb, come on down.
"I don't know about the effect on Donovan, but I do know the effect on me," said Holcomb, who was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills in late March. "I didn't expect it. But, hey, that's the business. That's the game of football. You've got to compete. I've had to compete for everything I've gotten in this league. It's just another day for me."
Holcomb, 33, has played 12 seasons. The Eagles are his fourth team. Unless he plays well enough this summer to convince coach Andy Reid to keep him and cut loose backup A.J. Feeley, there soon will be a fifth team on his resumé.
"I was happy to come in here [from Buffalo]," said Holcomb, who has 21 career starts. "I like this offense. I think it fits me very well. But all I can do is do my job and try to impress and hope things work out."
The Eagles signed Feeley to a 3-year contract extension in February. But with McNabb coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, Reid and general manager Tom Heckert figured the more veteran backup insurance they had the better. So, when the Bills offered to include Holcomb in the Takeo Spikes-for-Darwin Walker deal, they accepted.
But with the addition of Kolb, somebody has to go, and that somebody is expected to be Holcomb.
"I just told him to go out and compete," Reid said. "Kelly's been around this thing long enough. He knows how this whole thing works. He knows if he goes out and plays well, he either ends up here or somewhere else.
"I don't think he's too worried about it. And that's what he did in this [mini]camp. He came out and threw the ball around pretty good."
With the Eagles expected to take it slow with McNabb in training camp and the preseason, Reid plans to stick with four quarterbacks well into the summer. While Holcomb is fairly confident he'll be able to find a backup job with another team if/when the Eagles release him, he's not looking forward to another move.
"If I do well here, coach Reid obviously has been very successful in this league and knows a lot of people," Holcomb said. "I feel confident enough in myself that I'd be somewhere else.
"But this is my 13th year. I've got three kids. Sometimes you have to think about that. I've got to try to get them in school [in Philadelphia]. If something happens, it's a tough situation. Sometimes, that's what a lot of people don't see. They don't see the inside of what goes on. I've got to get them moved here. I've got to get my furniture moved here.
"Then, if it does get moved here and something happens and I end up going to the West Coast or somewhere, it's a different deal. I still want to play. I still have some good years left. But it's not all about me. I have a family." *