Eagles: QB's Need a Little R*E*S*P*E*C*T

John MaranoContributor IMarch 25, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Respect.  The one thing we're not reading about when it comes to this saga of the Philadelphia Eagles off season Quarterback quandary.  The one does this, the other doesn't do that, neither one will ever be the whatever....Sheeesh...

Miss Aretha Franklin's '70--s hit song comes to mind in the seemingly never--ending tale of intrigue.  Respect.  How many article's have we read where this attribute has been neglected?  Some?  Most?  Or all of them?  There IS another angle to this happy hooplah coming from One Nova Care Way.

The angle being missed, I believe, is this; how many "newbie" QB's have come into the NFL and blew everyone away?  I mean, right off the bench or straight out of college, instant wunderkind.  Few, if any, if I don't miss my guess.  Neither will Kevin Kolb, at first.

Oh, there have been some.  Otto Graham, Norm Van Brocklin, Y.A. Tittle, a few others maybe.  But, there have been a slew of those QB's who never made it very far.  Does Don Majikowski, Todd Marinovich, Ryan Leaf, Mike Boryla, Oliver Luck, JaMarcus Russell, et al, ring a bell?

My point is that the fan's reaction to the McNabb/Kolb thing lacks respect.  It also lacks another "dimension".  How about this, for example; the "time to get up to speed dimension".  All NFL QB's need the time on the field to "get up to speed".  Right, Matthew Stafford?

For instance, when the Green Bay Packers traded for some unknown fellow named Brett Favre, they saw "intangibles" that Atlanta did not see when they drafted him.  Did the New England Patriots see intangibles in some sixth round, second stringer from Michigan named Tom Brady?  Better yet, the 49'ers took a flier on a small, noodle--armed, gangly kid from Notre Dame named Montana in the third round.  They were given time to get their game on, and show what intangibles can do when given the chance.

Intangibles.  The missing attribute.  McNabb, obviously, has them (or had them).  Did anyone scream in outrage when he took over for some shlub named Peterson as a rookie in 1999?  No.  Did season ticket holders in New England demand a refund when Brady took over for an injured(?) Drew Bledsoe?  No.  Did Packers' fans give up their ownership shares when Favre was sent "packing" in favor of Aaron Rogers?

No.  All three men were allowed to find their way, and their "game", on the field AFTER the men they replaced were gone.  Kevin Kolb, if the college scouting reports are true (and the game film wasn't monkeyed with) can be the real deal.  It will take time, mistakes, goof--ups, and...ooh, the dirty "I" word (interceptions) before he makes his name in the hearts of football fans.  He has some intangibles that the Eagles saw when they drafted him, and time will tell if they bare fruit or not. 

All three of the presently star QB's mentioned above started off rough.  They were no Otto Graham's out there.  Neither will Kolb, at first.  The time, some say, is for McNabb to ride off into the sunset.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  The fact is, that Bledsoe, Favre, and other productive QB's WERE replaced on the teams they were successful with by guys with unproven or questionable skills.

Brady, Rogers, McNabb, all these and many others earned their respect on the field when it came time for them to step up into the starter's role.  If, in fact, it is time for McNabb to move on, the Eagles have a guy who's skills are mostly unproven or questionable waiting in the "wings".  The team drafted him to eventually be the starter when his time came.

Kevin Kolb's respect is yet to be won.  He will have times when the fans will want him in cement shoes thrown into the Delaware river.  He might have times when he will be heralded as a hero.  Two and a half games showed us that he needs work on some things, and he is gifted in areas that take years to develop.  So did Brady, Rogers, and McNabb, and we see what patience, coaching, and experience did for them.

Andy Reid had a hand in the development of Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb.  He has had some time spent with Kevin Kolb, too.  Not a bad pedigree to have, is it?  Mr. Farve won a Super Bowl under Reid.  Mr. McNabb played in a Super Bowl under Reid (and may yet get another chance with Reid).  Mr. Kolb is sitting under some quality tutelage while he awaits his turn at bat.

Then, if all goes well, and he learns his lesson's well, and translates them onto the field, he just might not have to wear the concrete shoes after all.  THEN, the respect will come.  Until then, he's thought of as just another second round draft pick "clipboard--carrying wannabe" tugging at the coattails of a highly regarded player in a city that doesn't always show "brotherly love".

Happy 68th Birthday, Miss Franklin.  Sixty--eight...sheeesh...time sure flies.  Isn't that right, Mr. McNabb?