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Family ties are strong for QB Kolb

The father embraced the son late in the afternoon April 28 when the news arrived. With the 36th overall pick in the NFL draft, the Eagles had selected Kevin Kolb, quarterback from the University of Houston.

The father embraced the son late in the afternoon April 28 when the news arrived.

With the 36th overall pick in the NFL draft, the Eagles had selected Kevin Kolb, quarterback from the University of Houston.

Down on a south Texas farm owned by Kolb's maternal grandfather, family and friends of the Eagles' newest quarterback lined up for congratulatory hugs.

"After everybody got their hugs in, I finally got to him and I just lost it," Roy Kolb said by telephone Thursday. "I cried like a baby because I was so excited for him. It's something he wanted his whole life."

It had to have been a touching and teary-eyed moment for everybody who witnessed it. Some turbulence between the father and son preceded that touching moment.

Roy Kolb was a football coach who wouldn't let his son play football until the seventh grade.

"I was a coach for 20 years, and my thought process was that he was going to get beat on for six years in junior high and high school, so I didn't want him to get burned out on football," Roy Kolb said. "I wanted football to be new and exciting to him when he got into junior high."

The game was new and exciting when Kevin Kolb got to junior high school. The coach, on the other hand, was too critical and tough to play for. Kevin Kolb has no problem saying that about his father.

"It was very intense between us two," Kevin Kolb said. "He was real hard on his son all the time. Our relationship suffered because of it. That's why he eventually got out of coaching and we've had a true father-son relationship ever since. It has been awesome ever since."

Roy Kolb pleads guilty to his son's charge.

"I was too tough on him," the father said. "I was his dad. I was his biggest critic. A lot of it had to do with him being the coach's son and when you're playing sports for a school, so many people think the only reason your son is playing quarterback is because he's the coach's son. I was tough on all the kids, but I was tougher on Kevin than the rest of them. I don't think we ever had a strain on the relationship. We just had disagreements. He was a typical teenager and he thought I was too hard on him. Every boy and every dad goes through that."

The son said his mother provided the buffer needed to get through those times.

"He always leaned on his mom," Roy Kolb said. "She was a typical mom. She felt sorry for the kid."

Lanell Kolb, at least in the eyes of her son, was and is more than a typical mother.

"She's an angel," Kevin said. "My mom is a Christian lady. Very behind the scenes. She's one of those ladies that when people meet her they say, 'Oh, that's why you're a good kid and why your dad was a successful coach.' She always finds a way to put God back into my life. She doesn't pressure me with it. She constantly helps me and my wife because we're on the go a lot. It's nice to have that influence in my life.

"She's the one I always leaned on. She always understood me. Both women in my life are angels."

The other woman in Kolb's life is his wife, Whitney, his high school sweetheart at Stephenville High. The two were married in February.

"We met as freshmen in high school," Kolb said. "We both played varsity basketball. I dated her friend first. I eventually got the guts to ask her out. We broke up when we went off to college, but we got back together a couple years ago and we knew it was the real deal. She played basketball and golf in high school. She was born around sports, so she is loving this."

Kolb's love of football, according to his father, started as soon as he started playing the game.

"I didn't let him pick up a football until the summer of his seventh-grade year," Roy Kolb said. "We took him all over the country to play basketball and baseball, but once I put a football in his hands, the other two sports took a backseat."

Other interests - hunting and fishing - continued to play a part in Kevin Kolb's life, and other people besides his father had a great influence on the kid who could one day be the starting quarterback for the Eagles.

"He didn't like school," Roy Kolb said. "He made good grades, but he always would rather be outside doing something. As he got older, he learned to deer hunt and hunt wild hogs. He learned that from his grandpa [Ben Kotara]."

Kevin Kolb sounds as proud of his hunting and fishing accomplishments as he is of his football achievements.

"I go deer hunting wherever I can," he said. "The girls in our family have all killed a deer."

That includes his older sister, Amy, who informed the Kolb family last week that she was going to have a baby girl, the first grandchild for Roy and Lanell.

"I killed an 18-point [buck] about four years ago," Kolb said. "We all fish together, too. I'll fish for whatever and whenever. I'm very excited about trying some [Pennsylvania] fly-fishing. I once caught a 76-pound yellow cat[fish]. I caught a 250-pound blue marlin a couple summers ago. It probably took about 25 minutes to reel it in. Fishing is a way for me to get away from everything. It's my solitude."

The next step for Kolb's football career begins next weekend when he takes part in the Eagles' post-draft minicamp at the NovaCare Complex. It'll be the first chance he has to show off the skills that made him the team's surprising first pick in this year's NFL draft.

It'll be fascinating to see what lies ahead for the kid from Stephenville who became a star at the University of Houston. Perhaps the tough love from his father in junior high and high school will help prepare him for his tenure in Philadelphia, where the natives have been known to criticize a quarterback or two over the years. Whatever the case, Kolb can't wait to get started.

"I'm pumped," he said. "This is when you really get into your career as a football player. You get to meet your teammates and start to learn the playbook and you let everybody see what you've got. This is what I've been looking forward to for a long time. I don't like the hype. I like the football."