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Kolb's days as an Eagle now may be numbered

Kevin Kolb's tenure as the Eagles' starting quarterback lasted all of 10 passes and one half. After coach Andy Reid failed to definitively say that Kolb would still be on the roster following the trade deadline, it was fair to wonder Wednesday whether the 26-year-old will ever throw another pass or play another half in Philadelphia.

Kevin Kolb lost the starting quarterback job to Michael Vick. (Sarah J. Glove / Staff Photographer)
Kevin Kolb lost the starting quarterback job to Michael Vick. (Sarah J. Glove / Staff Photographer)Read more

Kevin Kolb's tenure as the Eagles' starting quarterback lasted all of 10 passes and one half.

After coach Andy Reid failed to definitively say that Kolb would still be on the roster following the trade deadline, it was fair to wonder Wednesday whether the 26-year-old will ever throw another pass or play another half in Philadelphia.

Kolb, for the record, said that he did not ask to be traded after Reid informed him the day before that he was being replaced by Michael Vick as the team's starter. And Reid said that he was not willing to listen to offers from other teams.

But when the coach, who has received a hailstorm of criticism for his startling quarterback reversal, was asked if Kolb would last beyond this season's Oct. 19 deadline, Reid was noncommittal.

"I can't predict anything down that far," Reid said at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday, a day after he dropped his bombshell. "Nobody in this league can do that. That's ridiculous."

But the trade rumors have already started circulating. First, there was a report that the Cleveland Browns had contacted the Eagles Tuesday evening to discuss Kolb, a story that had no truth "whatsoever," according to a source close to the situation.

And then there was an ESPN report that cited a senior Eagles official as saying they "have had calls" about the availability of Kolb from several teams.

Kolb has made it no secret that he wants to start in the NFL. Before the Eagles traded away Donovan McNabb in April, Kolb had told friends and confidants - on occasion - that he wanted to be traded.

But then, of course, the Eagles dealt away their franchise quarterback and promoted Kolb. But what about after he was demoted? Those close to Kolb said he would not demand a trade even if his preference is to start.

Asked if his initial instinct, upon being told that he no longer was the starter, was to request a trade, Kolb said, "No. My initial instinct was, 'Shoot, I want to be out there.' "

During a six-minute interview in the Eagles' locker room given simultaneously while Vick spoke with reporters 10 feet away, Kolb said nothing that could be taken as critical of Reid or the Eagles.

Reid "always does what's best for this team, and so far to this point he's done what's best for my career, as well," Kolb said. "I trust him, and I have faith this will work out the way it's supposed to."

If Kolb wasn't going to raise a fuss about the way he lost his job - after just four offensive series and a concussion - the quarterback's circle of friends weren't as bashful, both privately and publicly.

"He didn't even have a chance to lose his job," said Mitch Copeland, a former high school coach of Kolb's in Stephenville, Texas, and a close friend. "I guess the lesson in Philly is, 'Don't get hurt or you're done.' "

Reid conceded that if Kolb had never suffered the concussion, he would have remained the starter.

"Yeah, that's probably right," he said.

So did that mean Kolb lost his job because he got injured?

"Listen," Reid said, "he lost his job because of Vick's accelerated play."

Kolb declined to answer a similar question.

Linebacker Stewart Bradley, who was concussed only minutes after Kolb went down, said that he understood that the same scenario could have played out during his absence. His replacement, Omar Gaither, however, did not play well.

"That's the way it is with every team and with any position," Bradley said. "Always."

Although he danced around the question the day before, Reid said that Vick was his starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Of course, a week earlier, when he was pressed about the quarterback situation, he said, "I know I'm using poor English: Kevin Kolb is the No. 1 quarterback."

If Kolb were to still have a "bright future" eventually as the Eagles' No. 1 quarterback, as Reid said, how would this decision affect his standing in the locker room?

"It won't affect him one bit," Reid said. "The players respect Kevin."

Indeed, a significant number of players said that they called or sent encouraging text messages to Kolb upon the news of his demotion.

"I called him just to tell him, 'I know it's a tough time. I'm here for you,' " tight end Brent Celek said.

Copeland, the son of Kolb's head high school coach, Mike Copeland, said that the news of Kolb's demotion had further deflated the football-obsessed town of Stephenville.

"Our [high school] team is 1-3, the Cowboys are 0-2," he said, "and Kevin just got benched. It's been a rough last few days."