For any team in the NFL it is a priority to win the first game of a new season. For the Philadelphia Eagles' new starting QB Kevin Kolb it is extremely important to start off his career as a starter on the right side with a win.
The young quarterback has alot of pressure placed on his shoulders.
He is replacing the Eagles all-time leading passer in Donovan McNabb, he has to prove that he is able to handle the pressure of being an NFL QB—especially in Philadelphia, and he also knows that since he has been mentored by three Pro Bowl QBs in [Donovan] McNabb, [Jeff] Garcia, and [Mike] Vike. Kolb must also show that he has retained all that he has learned from them over the past few years.
To say Kevin has a full plate is an absolute understatement.
There is a split opinion among the Eagles fan base on whether or not Kolb will become a legitamate quarterback in the NFL. Some will tell you that he is ready and is going to become a great QB in this league, and then there are others who say Kolb is nothing more than a good backup.
Adam Caplan, a frequent guest of Dave Spadaro on the Philadelphia Eagles website, was in the studio today tending to fan questions, and was asked if he thinks [Kevin] Kolb was ready to be a starter.
Caplan had this to say:
"I really like Kevin and believe he is going to be a great quarterback in this league. He is a better QB than McNabb in regards to leading the receiver, that was never one of Donovan's strenghts ."
Caplan has been following Kolb since he entered the NFL in 2008. He was at the combine and saw every throw Kolb threw, and thinks very highly of him, as do the Eagles front office.
He said the thing he really likes about Kolb is that he is extremely good at planting his foot before he throws the ball, and as I already mentioned, the fact that Kevin leads his receivers into open space—Kolb is excellent at doing that!
If Kolb becomes a great QB in the NFL, which will not be determined in 2010, but rather during the course of his career, the decision the Eagles made to trade out of the first in 2008, and to draft Kolb in the second round will go down as one of the greatest draft day trades in Eagles history.
If he doesn't become a household name like McNabb, that draft day trade and the Donovan McNabb trade will be two of the biggest mistakes the Eagles have ever made.
Kevin left his mark on the Eagles front office in the 2009 season when he started for an injured Donovan McNabb. In his first start against the Super Bowl Champ New Orleans Saints, Kolb threw the ball 51 times, completing 31 of those passes and finishing with a passer rating of 73.2.
He accumulated an astonishing 391 yards with two touchdowns, but he did throw three INTs—the third one was definitely not his fault as WR Reggie Brown did not run the proper route. The second INT came at the very end of the first half, so yes it matters, but does it really? It only hurt his stats.
In Kolb's second start against the Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin's first win as a starter, he showed great progress completing 24 of 34 passes (120.6 passer rating) and amassing 327 yards, 2 touchdowns, and zero INTs.
I understand it was against the Chiefs, I get that. What needs to be focused on, rather than the team he was up against, is the fact that he remained relatively consistent in the two outings, something Eagles fans, whether you supported or opposed him, dreaded about McNabb—his lack of consistency!
Eagles executives and fans have to wait to see if the trades that ultimately landed Kolb as the Eagles' starting QB were good trades or bad ones. Until then, lets agree that we all hope Kevin will approach his career maturely and continue to work hard.
Lets also hope its a fun ride with him as the starter just like it was with McNabb!
Can the Eagles "young guns" take the franchise to the promise land and bring home the bacon for the fans? I think the Eagles are in a very promising situation moving forward!