On Nov. 19, 2006, I attended a Philadelphia Eagles game against the Tennessee Titans. Little did I know, that game would mark the beginning of a debate about quarterback Donovan McNabb’s future in Philly that is still a hot topic today.
During that game, McNabb suffered a season-ending injury. This allowed Jeff Garcia to take over under center and lead the Eagles to a division crown and playoff appearance. This caused some fans to root for Garcia to permanently replace McNabb as the Eagles' QB. After all, McNabb went down for the season two years in a row, so his future health was suspect.
The following draft in April 2007, the Eagles used their first pick on Houston QB Kevin Kolb. This move raised even more debate about McNabb’s future. It was such a sensitive issue, Andy Reid called McNabb to inform him he was still his guy. While 2007 was a non-playoff year for Philly, McNabb managed to remain healthy the majority of the season.
2008 was a roller-coaster ride that ended with a conference championship loss in Arizona. During that season, we witnessed McNabb get replaced while healthy for the first time in his career in Baltimore. Many feel that if Kolb threw that TD pass to an Eagle instead of Ed Reed and somehow managed a victory, he would’ve been starting since. McNabb’s future was in question until he received a raise (although no extension) during the 2009 offseason.
When the Eagles signed Michael Vick in the 2009 preseason, I was sure that Kolb would be traded shortly thereafter, securing McNabb's status as the franchise quarterback for the next three to four years. Now, of the three QBs on the roster, it’s a good chance Kolb is the only one to be an Eagle next year.
The Eagles QB debate continues: Who will be the starter in 2010?
After 11 NFL seasons, McNabb has one constant: there is no middle ground with him. He either looks very polished or very erratic.
His accuracy woes have been documented for years. His strength is making the big play down field, which is basically a weakness in a West Coast Offense.
Regardless of what was said in Andy Reid's last press conference, McNabb’s not guaranteed to be an Eagle next year. If the right team (Minnesota after Brett Farve finally retires for good?) offers a good enough package along with a contract extension, Donovan is likely an Eagle no more.
This has nothing to with his recent incarceration but... why was Vick signed by the Eagles again?? This looked like an all around bad fit from a completely football-based point of view.
From the time his signing was announced, I felt the Eagles were preparing for some decent trade value in Vick this upcoming offseason. Every time the Eagles try that awful Wildcat formation, Vick's value decreased.
Fortunately, Vick showed glimpses of his old self in Atlanta and the rest of the season after that. That may be enough for a struggling team to offer a decent package to obtain him.
I don't see him starting for the Eagles and I don't see the Eagles paying $five million for a backup. The rumor mill is spreading fast that he's likely to end up in St. Louis.
Unlike the 2008 season, Kolb had the opportunity to practice with the first team before he was put into a game. Although he had a rough, three INT outing against the Saints, (who capped a Super Bowl win with a rare pick six on Peyton Manning) he still produced two productive games during McNabb's absence.
He's accurate with his throws and with more experience, he's only going to get better. I see him being the Eagles starting QB next season.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Heckert made an offer to bring Kolb to Cleveland for a better chance to start, but that depends on how the Browns handle the situation with Brady Quinn and/or Derek Anderson.
Whoever the Eagles decide to go with, I don't think the other two will be in Philly much longer. The guy they go with will likely be offered an extension.
It's unlikely the front office will keep the
expiring contract of a backup when they can get more value via trade (although it's impossible to predict what the Eagles will do).
One thing that has been learned the past few years is good QB depth can be essential to a team's success. Philly learned the hard way in 2005 when McNabb went down for the season and Mike McMahon was put in the lineup.
We'll get a much better idea of the Birds' direction the beginning of March. Once it's determined who the starter will be, Philly must make sure they continue to provide competent veteran backup. Another good choice would be to draft another quarterback in the middle rounds to groom.