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“I’ve always tried to be a leader, even in the backup role,” Kolb said. “There are some things that do change, but I don’t want to go outside of my comfort zone or do anything that’s not expected of me. I want to be myself and do the things that are asked and expected. I know there won’t be any problem with it, and the guys will respond well.”

Teammates love Kolb’s confidence and intensity. They also relate better to him because he’s just 26 and the average age of Philadelphia’s projected starters on offense is 25.3.

Kevin reminds me of exactly what he is, that quarterback from Texas that you know is like, ‘Let’s kick some butt, take some names and have a good time doing it,’” wide receiver Hank Baskett said. “It’s good. He has genetic leadership in him and I like it.

“We’re going to miss Donovan,” Baskett said. “Donovan had a lot of intangibles that come with the years that he spent here and I wish Donovan the best, but right now I’d say Kevin is doing a really good job out here.”

The Redskins say glowing things about McNabb. They’ve bought into everything he brings to the table. Why not? McNabb certainly is an upgrade from what they’ve had over the years.

“It’s his swagger. Donovan comes in and he knows he can win a game for you,” center Casey Rabach said. “You know he can do great things. We have obviously seen a lot of him in the past from playing in the same division, and everyone is just as confident in his ability. It’s nice to have a guy like that around.”

McNabb’s presence in a burgundy and gold uniform should make the Redskins-Eagles rivalry more interesting, too. Both teams hate the Dallas Cowboys more, and the Giants are a natural rival for the Eagles because of proximity. But now the most-anticipated game in the NFL this season is McNabb’s return to Philadelphia on Oct. 3.

It’ll be strange to see McNabb in different colors and he’ll certainly hear some boos. But it’s likely he’ll also get a loud ovation because most fans seem to have appreciated his performance for 11 seasons.

They were just ready to move on. Obviously, so was management.

“You have to develop young quarterbacks in their prime and the best way to do it if you can is to pinpoint the player, develop him while you have the quality quarterback we had in Donovan,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “Kevin is more than ready to play. Donovan had a good season. There wasn’t the feeling that we would drop off in any way. Having a new quarterback, there’s a risk. There’s obviously an unknown involved there, but there wasn’t a sense that this is a drop-off situation. This was a perfect opportunity for the developing player to take the reigns of the team and maximize his capabilities.”


AP Sports Writer Joseph G. White in Washington, D.C. contributed to this report.