IN THE DEBATE over whether it is really possible to legislate concussion-causing hits to the head out of football, it's easy to lose track of how serious and scary suffering a concussion can be.

Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb said yesterday that it took about 5 days after his concussion, suffered in the season opener, before his vision and thinking cleared.

"It's weird," he said. "You don't really understand it until you go through it."

Kolb, who said he'd never had a concussion before, gained his understanding as he went along, he said.

"I went into our quarterback coach's [James Urban] office, it was on Thursday," after the hit, 3 days before the Detroit game, Kolb said. "He said, 'Hey, in nickel, they do a two-for-two swap, they take out a 'backer and a defensive lineman, they bring in a pass-rusher and they bring in a nickel back.' I had no idea what nickel even was. That's when I was like, 'OK, they're doing the right thing' [keeping Kolb out of that game]. Before that, you want to get out there, of course," especially after the terrible offensive performance early against Green Bay.

But realizing on the fourth day after the hit that you aren't processing information correctly kind of dampens that ardor, he acknowledged.

"I was very nervous. I just didn't know when it was going to come back," he said. "Friday and Saturday was when I started to feel a lot better."

By Saturday, 6 days after the injury, "I felt like my normal self," Kolb said. "But the funny thing is, you think you're normal, and then 3 days later, you're like, 'Oh, no, this is normal.' You're always trying to battle with what normal is."

This week, rookie wideout Riley Cooper will be coming back from a concussion he suffered when a teammate ran into him on a punt return, Oct. 3 against the Redskins.

"There was no memory loss - just fog," Cooper said. "It took me a good, solid 2 weeks to get back to myself. I wasn't concerned; it was my second one [Cooper said he'd also been concussed as a junior at Florida], so I kind of knew what to expect and all that."

Could be worse

In the NovaCare hallway after his regular news conference, Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg made a point to praise Kevin Kolb for the way he handled having been benched, Kolb coming back to play exceptionally well the past 2 weeks, winning NFC offensive player of the week this week.

"A lot of guys wouldn't have bounced back like that," Mornhinweg said. He went on to express appreciation for the way both Michael Vick and Kolb have handled the ticklish switch back and forth. Mornhinweg, who has coached a lot of QBs in San Francisco, Green Bay, Detroit and Philadelphia, knows the Eagles have been really lucky - seriously lucky - the way Vick and Kolb have refrained from any hint of carping or backbiting.


Quarterback Michael Vick (rib cartilage injury) was a full participant in practice yesterday, the Eagles said. Ditto running back LeSean McCoy (rib). Defensive end Brandon Graham sat out with an illness, the team said, though Graham also has an ankle injury from a cut block in the Atlanta game . . . Special teams coordinator Bobby April said Jorrick Calvin will be the primary returner for both punts and kicks this week. "He's been a good pickup for us," April said of Calvin, acquired in a trade with the Cardinals near the end of the preseason. Calvin has averaged 19.4 yards on five kickoffs and 15.4 yards on five punts . . . Marty Mornhinweg indicated the Eagles will have a package of plays this week for running back Jerome Harrison, acquired from the Browns on Oct. 13. Harrison said he knows more than he knew last week, but "this offense is not that easy" . . . Left tackle King Dunlap's first road start will be in his hometown. He said he thinks he has acquired 22 tickets for friends and family.