With about 15 minutes left in yesterday's practice at the NovaCare Complex, second-year quarterback Kevin Kolb rolled out of the pocket, looking to make something happen.
A few steps before the sideline, he fired the ball to rookie receiver DeSean Jackson, who had sneaked into a gap between defenders.
"Way to stay with me, DeSean," Kolb said while jogging back to the huddle.
It was a simple exchange between Kolb, the Eagles' third-string quarterback last year, and Jackson, the Eagles' second-round pick last month, but it was indicative of the relationships and experience Kolb said he hoped to build by taking part in the two-day rookie minicamp that wrapped up here yesterday.
The Eagles drafted Kolb from the University of Houston with their second-round pick in 2007. He spent last season behind Donovan McNabb and A.J. Feeley.
"It's good for me to feel confident with these guys," Kolb said. "They're the up-and-coming guys, so we'll grow together, and, being a leader, you need to practice being a leader. I don't get that practice with the first group a lot of the times."
Kolb took nearly all the snaps yesterday, with free-agent signee Casey Hansen, a lanky rookie from Norfolk State, jumping in for every fifth or sixth repetition.
"We're all rookies out there," said Jackson, from the University of California. "So Kevin's already been through what we're going through. He's showing a lot of leadership. I'm looking up to him because he knows the offense already."
Kolb said the difference from last season was "black and white," adding that everything had slowed down, allowing him to feel more confident.
"You can tell he's comfortable," rookie free safety Quintin Demps said. "I watched a lot of games of him in college, because we had to. I can tell, technique-wise, he's a lot better."
Demps, the Eagles' fourth-round pick from Texas-El Paso, played against Kolb in Conference USA.
Kolb didn't throw a pass during the 2007 regular season - his only action came during a Week 3 blowout of Detroit - but he said he trusted the decisions being made.
"Take the quarterback in Houston, for example," he said, referring to David Carr. "He got thrown in the fire early," and "it didn't work out."
"I want there to be a different excuse if I don't make it," Kolb said. "I want it to be on me, not that they didn't let me progress."
Eagles coach Andy Reid "knows that," Kolb said, adding that Reid wants to let him get to a situation in which the team thinks: " 'OK, everything is behind him. He has to be successful now.' I think that's the way it's going to happen."
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg understands it is tough for a competitive guy like Kolb to sit, but he said that eventually the process could benefit him.
"He's playing behind one of the great quarterbacks in the game," Mornhinweg said, referring to McNabb. "So it's really a great learning experience for him. He's doing things the right way."
About that low-key nod of encouragement he tossed Jackson's way yesterday, Kolb said he was trying to do that as much as possible.
"I told him, good job staying with me," Kolb said. "He felt the defense sinking back, so he stayed right there and just hid himself. When you have QB written across you, people expect that from you - especially, hopefully, with what my future is going to be like."
See video from rookie camp at http://go.philly.com/trevorlaws.