Philadelphia Eagles: Is Mike Kafka Really a Reliable Backup QB?

Cody SwartzSenior Writer IAugust 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Mike Kafka #3 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up before the start of their game against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles made major improvements to their roster this offseason. The Eagles acquired a slew of talented players via the NFL draft, traded for a star linebacker in DeMeco Ryans and re-signed a bunch of their own players in Trent Cole, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Evan Mathis.

The team drafted quarterback Nick Foles out of the University of Arizona with its third round selection, and there’s a chance Andy Reid may be looking at Foles as the team’s quarterback of the future. However, Foles enters camp as the third quarterback and he is unlikely to beat out third-year man Mike Kafka for the backup role. Realistically, Foles is a very talented player but he probably isn’t ready to contribute should Michael Vick go down with another one of his yearly injuries.

The problem is that Kafka isn’t a reliable backup either.

He is an extremely intelligent student of the game and he knows the playbook and the West Coast offense well enough that he will one day make a fine position coach. His physical skills, though, are limited, and he’s also really struggled in limited snaps at the NFL level.

Last year Kafka threw 16 passes and completed nearly 70 percent of them, although they were nearly all for short yardage, and he threw two costly interceptions without throwing a touchdown. Kafka’s career stats are less than impressive, as he has just a 47.7 career passer rating. It’s way too early to fully judge Kafka on 16 snaps, but backup quarterback is even more important on the Eagles than a normal team because Vick has started all 16 games in a season just once since he was drafted in 2001.

Trent Edwards is the other quarterback on the Eagles’ roster, although I would be very surprised to see him still on the roster coming out of training camp. I think the Eagles should have traded for Cleveland’s Colt McCoy, and I still think there’s a chance the team may do so.

Since the disastrous Mike McMahon season of 2005, Reid has gone out of his way to make sure the team always has a quality backup. He’s picked up Jeff Garcia, Vince Young, and drafted Kevin Kolb in the second round. I think Reid knows his backup quarterback will probably be under center for a handful of games in 2012, and I can’t imagine Reid feeling too confident with Kafka as his man.