When talking to fantasy owners, football fans, or the people of Philadelphia, you seem to get a sense there is an odd silent exuberance surrounding Kevin Kolb as an Eagles starter.
Silent because so many have labelled Kolb a “sleeper” quarterback. Exuberance because the Eagles have a new face at the helm.
In fact, Michael Fabiano of NFL.com called Kolb a sleeper in a recent article and he may have missed the mark. The city of "brotherly love" has seemed to warm up to the idea way before the masses have.
Kolb’s career may have begun as a third string quarterback in a draft year that included JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn, however, there are a few things he has that the other quarterbacks do not: a solid background, years behind a quality quarterback, a formidable receiving corps, and a strong knowledge of the Eagles system.
Drafted in the 2007 draft 36th overall, Kolb played for the University of Houston. Throughout his college football career, Kolb had a history of continuous progress and always maintaining an upward trend.
He took a struggling Houston team, which had a losing season in 2004, and turned them into a .545 team the following year. In that same year he was named the team’s MVP.
After a successful season, he worked even harder.
In 2006, Kolb threw for 30 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He led his team to a 10-4 season and all the way to the USA championship. Despite losing the championship, Kolb was named the offensive MVP of the year.
His college totals were simply amazing; 12,964 total yards (fifth all-time) along with 85 touchdowns (tied 22nd overall).
Welcome to the Big Leagues, Son
Many Kolb supporters use his limited NFL appearances as the main reasons for his success. However, it isn’t the fact that he was the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 300 yards in their two career starts that makes it convincing, but rather, his perceived “negatives.”
Kolb does only have a few real time reps under his belt, but he does show signs of potential. Additionally, many detractors are quick to also name his low periods. So let’s review those.
Kolb lost a game to the New Orleans Saints in 2009. The Saints went on to win the Super Bowl; honestly, that wasn’t his fault, nor a sign of his inability to play high level football.
In 2008, Kolb threw an interception into the endzone, whereby the famous Ed Reed brought it all the way back for a 108-yard touchdown. Ed Reed is among the best in the NFL in the free safety position. Again, not Kolb’s fault due to the calibre of player Reed is, nor a sign of his inability to play high level football.
Rep after Rep Since 2007
Since 2007, Kevin Kolb has been learning the schemes and soaking in the Eagles system.
Not only is he will versed in the system, but he also has some big name targets to throw to: wide receivers such as DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, and tight end Brent Celek.
To be labelled a sleeper is just plain wrong. It would be more fitting for Kolb to be labelled a leader, warrior, and a quarterback with a serious opportunity to make headlines now that he is no longer in the shadow of McNabb.
One Year Contract Means Eagles Testing the Water
Kolb did sign one-year extension worth $12.25 million, but this is where the Eagles organization has faltered. Their logic seems a bit skewed; you draft a quarterback in 2007 and hold onto him until 2010 where he eventually replaces McNabb?
You sign a contract extension for one year as an obvious act of testing the waters but yet you’ve seen him day in and day out since 2007?
His tenure with the team is an obvious sign of the organization’s confidence in his abilities, yet their money talks a different game.
His Fantasy Value is High
For you fantasy owners, I suggest Kolb should be taken early and that person must be you. He isn’t under the radar, he is ABOVE it.
He is ranked in fantasy leagues as 10th at the quarterback position and 72nd overall. Pair him up with Joe Flacco and you have the new faces of the NFL and the dynamic duo. Step aside T.O. and Ocho.
For my money, you might even see an Eagles team that not only makes the playoffs, but has the goods for a strong playoff run.
What’s your take?