With Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Michael Vick coming off the heels of one the greatest comeback seasons of all time (sorry Chad Pennington), the highlight reels for for one of the decade’s most successful franchises appear slated for heavy doses of ankle-rupturing scrambles and flick-of-the wrist 50-yard bombs in the years to come.
As promised back in November, the Philadelphia Eagles laid the franchise tag on Vick a few weeks back, cementing his position as the Eagles long-term quarterback and foreshadowing talks of a fat contract extension for him in the future, as soon as the whole labor thing gets sorted out.
As for Kolb, he stated back in January that he loves Philadelphia, but wants to be starting somewhere. No doubt, last season Kolb displayed the same attitude a young Rodgers exerted just a few years back when he was holding the clipboard for Brett Favre.
Kolb showed zen-like resilience when he was benched after week 1 for Vick, in a year that was supposed to be the former Houston standouts coming out party as a starter and franchise guy. Like Rodgers, he said all the right things in interviews, never lost his cool or looked annoyed by reporters asking him how he felt, and showed his team spirit on the sidelines and he orchestrated cheerful “hoorah’s” while Vick led dazzled fans and led a young, banged up Eagles team to the playoffs.
Kolb is clearly acting on the advice he received from Rodgers, and is hoping his diligence pays off much like it did for the Super Bowl MVP. This way of going about things has garnered talks of teams possibly trading as high as a first round pick for Kolb. But there’s just one problem, the guy hasn’t shown any reason in terms of his on-field performance to warrant such a high value.
Kolb was virtually non-effective in the Eagles 2010 season opener before he got hurt. He looked frightened in the pocket, frequently checked down routes, and ended up going 5-for-10 for a measly 24 yards before getting sidelined with a concussion late in the first half.
When Vick went down against Washington in week 4, it was Kolb’s turn once again to see if he could wow fans enough to warrant a quarterback controversy, and again didn’t succeed. He threw for 201 yards and a touchdown in that game, but the Eagles still lost 12-17. You might place the blame Jason Avant for that defeat, as he let the game-winning Hail Mary trickle out of his hands on the final play. Nevertheless, Kolb had several chances to score the game-winning touchdown in that game, a whole quarter as a matter of fact, since the Philadelphia defense shutdown Washington in the second half.
Kolb had a few shining moments in 2010, his biggest perhaps being his 3 touchdown performance in a home-rout over a decent Atlanta Falcon team. However, we all saw how overrated the Falcons were as the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed. Atlanta got by on a soft schedule and a perfect home record. Not to discredit Kolb entirely, who played great in that game.
Another thing that worries me about Kolb is his inability to play well at the end of games. This was no more apparent than in the team’s 37-19 loss to Tennessee on the road. It’s the third quarter, the Eagles are up 16-7, the defense just picked off Kerry Collins and Kolb leads them down the field and is ready to put them up 24-6, a lead the Titans are unlikely to come back from.
Then the unthinkable happens, Kolb fumbles at the 3, the Titans recover, and the momentum shifts. We all know what happens next. Kenny Britt becomes a quidditch snitch, and catches two second-half touchdowns including an 80-yard bomb, helping the Titans rack up 27 unanswered en route to a 37-19 victory. The defense deserves some blame of course, but part of being a great quarterback is knowing how to stop the bleeding, and Kolb hasn’t shown that yet.
Of course, Kolb is still young and has some growing to do. But still, trading him away for a first round pick would be an absolute steal for Philadelphia, who could use the pick to fill some of their glaring weaknesses on their offensive line and in the secondary. If the Eagles could only get a 2nd rounder and a conditional pick for a proven quarterback like Donovan McNabb, an unproven guy like Kolb shouldn’t go for a first-rounder right?