What's in a quarterback? What does it take to be a great quarterback?
The accuracy and efficiency of Joe Montana or Dan Marino? The arm strength and legs of Randall Cunningham? The will and the "it" factor of Brett Favre? The mental toughness and consistency of Peyton Manning?
He had in his mind that he would be the starter. He probably called his family, prepared to play extra focused, relished every interview -- then boom. He gets in the NFL, gets chased after by big, fast, linebackers, pushed around, beat up, and sent out of the game with a concussion.
After stellar performances by an amazing athlete, he gets approached by his coach and told that he would not be the starter anymore.
In spades, we call that a renege and the books don't count.
In football, all is fair when it comes to success. It's a business, and winning is the product.
As put in a famous rant by the notorious, Herm Edwards, "We play to win the game", and this decision by Philadelphia head coach and GM Andy Reid, is a decision that reaffirms that notion.
What made this decision so explosive was the fact that the previous weeks, Reid made several firm statements supposedly solidifying that his decision was indeed his final decision. But, it wasn't, and everyone had to know that.
I can say anything right now. I can tell you I'm an Asian millionaire, posed as a black man from Philadelphia on Bleacher Report. And I can say it with conviction, and come up with all kinds of proof.
It doesn't mean a thing in reality, because I am, indeed, a black man from Philadelphia.
Andy Reid said what he had to say at the time. Same difference of a poker face. He knew. He saw what we saw.
Many people forget that coaching isn't just about teaching, calling plays, making roster moves and addressing the media. It also involves interpersonal conflict management and player morale.
At the time of Reid making those statements, he was clearly standing firm to his decision for the benefit of the whole team. At the same time, he realized—like the rest of us that Michael Vick, is the better of the two—right now.
No fault of Kolb's, no fault of anyone.
The Philadelphia Eagles offensive line is horrendous. Some make the argument that Kolb’s being on the field right now is not safe.
While others make the argument that the mental aspect of him being seated back on the bench, after three years of backing up another superstar, is far worse for his career, than any of the physical.
In fact, Reid made a point to stress that it is not an injury issue, "Kolb is fine" he said.
Some laugh at the fact that Reid said it would be a positive for this "maturation process."
But let's be objective here for a minute—all emotions aside for a second. Reid may have a point.
Look at the greats listed above. Does any quarterback, known to let things hold them back or get them down succeed as a Super Bowl winning quarterback? No.
Think about if John Elway was easily discouraged; how would that have worked out?
How about Peyton Manning? What if he would have let these things get to him?
The best quarterbacks succeed in times of mental toughness. The ability in human society to "take a lickin' and keep on tickin'" is a good thing.
Kurt Warner went undrafted in 1994 and didn't get his shot to prove himself until five years later in 1999.
Point is, if Kolb is going to have to be a quarterback in Philadelphia, I don't think our argument should be, "this is going to hurt him mentally."
If he is, indeed, our quarterback of the future, I'm sure we won't be so concerned about his mental abilities when we're taking low-blows at his football play, or the way he speaks etc.
If he is, indeed, the quarterback of the future for the Eagles, he will develop mental toughness. In that case, Reid could be doing the correct thing—protecting his quarterback of the future's health, and building character and mental toughness.
It's clear, right now, this season, Vick is the man for this job, until he proves he isn't. At which point, Kolb will get the chance to prove himself.
Welcome to the NFL kid. Toughen up.
For more writing from Vincent Heck visit: www.vincentheckwriting.com