For Kevin Kolb, rookie camp is like fantasy camp.
It's when the Eagles' backup quarterback gets to be the Eagles' starting quarterback, and he gets all the perks that go with being the No. 1 guy: the most repetitions in practice, the most coaching and the huddle's undivided attention.
Of course, the difference between Kolb and middle-aged men trying to live out their childhood dreams is that Kolb's whimsy could one day come true. When that will be, nobody quite knows. For the time being, however, it's good to be king – if just for a while.
"I love it," Kolb said, "because as a starter you get to do that every day. And I don't get that chance, so that's why I enjoy being the starter because the guys are going to listen to you a little more."
Kolb's two-week fantasy ends today with the conclusion of voluntary minicamp for rookies and selected veterans. On Tuesday, the rest of the team arrives at the NovaCare complex for the Eagles' next set of organized team activities. That means Donovan McNabb, whom the team expects to attend, assumes the starting quarterback spot he has held for nine previous years and that means Kolb falls back into his role as quarterback-in-waiting.
"It's not frustrating," Kolb said yesterday, reversing from comments he made last week about being "antsy." "I'm getting better here every day. I got better today than I was yesterday. So as long as I keep that mentality, I'll be fine."
Kolb, a second-round pick and the Eagles' first overall selection three drafts ago, is entering his third season but has only been on the field for one significant half of action. So the 24-year-old arrived May 20 for the first day of rookie camp eager to correct what went wrong in that fateful 30 minutes in Baltimore in November and eager to take the first seat.
McNabb, as he is wont to do, continued his off-season workout regimen in Arizona.
"This is what, his 11th year? He's seen it all, done it all," Kolb said. "For me, though, I love it. And what it does for me is it gets me geared up and back into playing shape and the mental phase of it. I'll never turn these down if they ask me to come."
As much as he enjoys the extra attention, Kolb relishes the opportunity to impart some of his wisdom to the younger players.
"That may be undercoaching them some, because you know they're swimming, and you don't want to give them too much advice," he said. "You may back off somebody or when a coach gets on them, I can go back and go, 'Hey, you missed the catch but great route.' "
Kolb likes what he sees of the team's first three draft picks – wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, running back LeSean McCoy and tight end Cornelius Ingram. But are they ready to contribute immediately, and if not, does that mean they were brought in to be his future arsenal?
"Anybody that's been in the league understands that you can never predetermine that," Kolb said. "I think it's a win-now league. Let's get what we need now to win and those are the guys that are going to be on the field."
He said he believes that concept relates to his own predicament. If he had performed well against the Ravens - when he relieved the ineffective McNabb at halftime - maybe Kolb wouldn't have to use rookie camp as his test run as the starter.
"I think that was kind of the excuse that was made for me last year – 'You weren't prepared,' " said Kolb, who was 10 of 23 for 73 yards, tossing two interceptions, one of which was returned 108 yards for a touchdown. "But shoot, that's my job. That's what I kept telling everybody. I got to get in there and get it done when it's my turn."
Doug Pederson, recently added to the Eagles' staff as an offensive assistant, could help with that process. Pederson was mostly a career backup. Kolb said Pederson will help with being prepared even though a backup doesn't get many very snaps with the first team during the season.
"He did the same thing," Kolb said. "It's tough but there [are] a lot of other guys doing it. That's the nature of the league. There [are] a lot of stars, a lot of great players, so you get used to it."
He doesn't want to get that used to it.