With training camp just around the corner, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of those teams to keep an eye on in 2010. The team has enough talent—both on offense and defense—to make their third straight trip to the postseason this year. But the recent departure of Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins have many believing the Eagles won’t be able to compete with the rest of the NFC East.
The potential is there with Kevin Kolb, but many are hesitant towards saying the former Houston standout is ready to take on the full-time job at starting quarterback due to lack of experience.
The Eagles have high expectations for their new franchise quarterback, but he’s started just two career games—both at the beginning of last season against the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs.
He became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 300 yards in his first two career starts, thanks to a strong supporting cast including DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek.
There’s no question how difficult it will be to fill McNabb’s shoes after the type of numbers he displayed during his 11-year career in Philly. Not only is "No. 5" the franchise’s all-time leader in wins, but he holds the record for most passing yards (32,873) and touchdowns (216).
Difficult to live up to?
Obviously. But with the type of work ethic Kolb possesses, the Eagles and their fans should have all the faith in the world for him to succeed in 2010—especially with the type of weapons he has on offense.
Since joining the team in 2008, Jackson’s clearly emerged as the top go-to guy for the Eagles’ offense. He’s coming off a a phenomenal sophomore season, where he became the first player in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl for two positions—a wide receiver and punt returner.
The coaching staff realizes the importance of Jackson in the offense, which is why they’ve been pushing hard for him and Kolb to establish a strong chemistry during the offseason.
Along with Jackson, Kolb will have a number of other options on offense to make his first full season as the starter easier. Kolb and Celek are already close friends off the field, and with the chemistry shown in the two games against the Saints and Chiefs last year, these two should make a dynamic duo in 2010.
In fact, many analysts are predicting Celek to emerge as one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the NFL after he caught 76 passes for 971 yards and eight touchdowns in 2009.
As long as Jackson and Celek manage to stay healthy, the Eagles and their fans have every reason to believe Kolb will succeed next season. While both players will most likely be the top receivers for the Birds next season, don’t be surprised if second-year wideout Jeremy Maclin plays a key role in the offense as well.
Maclin is coming off a rookie season in which he caught 55 passes for 762 yards and four touchdowns. He also recorded a 76-yard touchdown reception in the Eagles 34-14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys during the Wild Card round of last year’s playoffs.
After a stellar career at Missouri, Philadelphia traded up to select Maclin in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. With his blazing speed and quickness, he resembled a wide receiver the Eagles selected the previous year in Jackson.
The two stars realize the importance of maintaining that positive relationship not just on the field, but off as well as they look forward to providing the Eagles with a deadly duo at wideout.
Kolb will definitely feel the pressure now that he’s officially the full-time starter in Philadelphia. On the bright side, at least the transition process will be easier with the help of players like Jackson, Celek, and Maclin by his side.
Dan Parzych is the Eagles Fan Voice for NFLTouchdown.com.
He is also the founder of the new NFCEastFootball.com.
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