Posts Tagged ‘Donovan McNabb

09
Jan
11

EAGLES: Remembering 4th and 26

It was one of the greatest moments in Philadelphia sports history. It involved the most unlikely of heroes and forever changed the dynamic between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers. It was 4th and 26.

On January 11, 2004, Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell caught undoubtedly the biggest pass he has ever been thrown. In the most unlikely of scenarios, the Eagles were down by 3 points and found themselves with a 4th and 26 in their own zone. If they fail to convert it, Brett Favre’s Green Bay Packers would move on to the divisional round of the playoffs. However, as we all know, McNabb hit Mitchell over the middle of the field which sparked a game-tying drive and eventually an Eagles win in overtime.

Many Eagles fans had started filing out of Lincoln Financial field in disgust. I’m sure even a few people turned off their televisions, knowing that the Eagles had just wasted another good playoff opportunity. Instead, the fate of one play changed the outlook of the 2004 playoffs. Philadelphia not only beat the Packers, but went on to win their next two games en route to a Super Bowl berth.

With the Packers coming back to town for the playoffs, they will do so with a chip on their shoulders. Although most of the players were not on the roster in 2004, their city and faithful certainly have not gotten over the tragedy. It sits deep in the core of every Packer fan’s heart and they are traveling to Philadelphia with the hope of gaining a spark of their own. They are two of the toughest teams in the NFC and it is the most highly anticipated wild card game this weekend. Let’s watch as history takes its course, hopefully with another positive memory for Eagles fans.

Freddie Mitchell lives the moment to this day…and certainly is not bashful about it

26
Nov
10

EAGLES: Remember that guy Brent Celek?

You remember the game “Where’s Waldo?” where you have to look for Waldo amongst a crowd of people? Well on the football field there isn’t a crowd of people, but instead 22 players battling on the gridiron. However, throughout the entire Eagles season I have found myself playing a Philadelphia Eagles version of “Where’s Waldo?” to the tune of “Where’s Brent Celek?”

It was last season that Eagles fans watched Brent Celek break out of his shell and emerge as one of the most dominant tight ends in the game. He is a blue-collar player that prides himself on hard work and determination. He isn’t the biggest or the strongest at his position. He isn’t the fastest and doesn’t have the best hands. However, he will outwork and outhustle players in order to better his team. Those are the qualities that Eagles fans saw in Celek during his breakout Pro-Bowl caliber season in 2009.

As we sit here 11 weeks into the season, we have yet to see the Brent Celek that we were all so hopeful to watch this season. Many hoped that he was going to add a new dimension to the Eagles receiving core after last season and solidify himself as one of the top five tight ends in football. Instead, Celek has a mere 23 receptions for 237 yards and two touchdowns through 11 games. These numbers pale in comparison to 2009.

Which Brent Celek will we see in the closing weeks?

Last year, Celek had 22 receptions through the first three games. In those games he also recorded 245 receiving, which is 8 more yards than he has during the 2010 campaign. Through 11 games last season, his numbers were exponentially better than this year, as he had 54 receptions for 601 yards and five touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark three times in 2009 and the 50-yard mark eight times. This season, his most yards in a game came against San Francisco when he finished with 47. In 2009, he had 80 receptions and had at least two catches in every game. In 2010, he is on pace for only 37 receptions and has been held without a catch in two games (Giants last week and Colts three weeks ago).

What has led to this sudden slump for Celek? Is he underperforming? Does a change of quarterbacks make that much of a difference? I believe it is a combination of both.

The different styles between Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick could definitely play a role in the lack of production by Celek. When Michael Vick is the starting quarterback, Celek has 9 receptions for 77 yards whereas when Kevin Kolb is the starting quarterback, he has 14 receptions for 160 yards (Not including the Packers game and the Washington Redskins game because they split time due to injuries). With Vick’s big-play style of offense that revolves largely around his legs, Celek becomes less of an option. Kolb, who runs more of a west coast style of offense with quick, short passes, often looks to Celek more over the middle. Much like Donovan McNabb, Kolb enjoys going to the tight end when in trouble and facing pressure. Vick on the other hand uses his legs to overcome pressure and does a better job finding his wide receivers on the run.

Another explanation for his low numbers could be the inconsistent play from the offensive line. Celek may not be targeted as often because he is forced to spend more time blocking and protecting the quarterback. When he releases after the initial block, his route is sometimes useless because Vick has already taken off running or Kolb was too quick to release the ball.

Looking at the positive, Celek’s lack of production has resulted in an increase in production from the Eagles wide receivers. DeSean Jackson is on pace to his first Pro-Bowl as a wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin has established himself as one of the most consistent young receivers in the league, and Jason Avant is getting a more expanded role in the slot.

Clearly the Eagles passing offense hasn’t been struggling this year, especially under Michael Vick. However, I believe the offense could be even more explosive if Celek can get more involved. The combination of getting more looks and Celek taking advantage of those looks will add an entirely new dimension to the already dominant Eagles offense. Can he rebound down the stretch or will Celek continue to be nonexistent on the stat line? Let’s hope it’s the former.

17
Nov
10

EAGLES: A Franchise-Changing Win Over the Redskins

There was a day when I, Stephen Watson, wrote an in depth article about why Kevin Kolb should be the starting quarterback for the Eagles over Michael Vick. I argued that Kolb is a better fit for the offense and would run the west coast offense more effectively than Vick. Just like Kevin Kolb feels right now, I admit my defeat.

What Michael Vick did on Monday night was the most impressive performance I have ever seen from a quarterback during the regular season. He was not human. He was faster than ever. He was throwing the ball better than ever. And most importantly, the rest of the team responded very well to No. 7 as the captain of the offense.

Who would have thought that after two years in prison, after the Eagles shockingly signed him, and after Kevin Kolb was deemed the future of the franchise that Michael Vick would change the future of a single franchise? It was this Michael Vick that critics have been waiting to see after he was the top overall pick coming out of Virginia Tech. It was this Michael Vick that Atlanta fans were planning their future around before he went to prison, but are instead now crying that he is in green and white. Now it all is becoming quite clear why Andy Reid decided to give Vick a second chance. To be honest, it might go down as his biggest off-season acquisition since being the head coach of the Eagles.

Honestly, who is this guy? Vick, the same quarterback that couldn’t hit his targets and could only run, has not thrown an interception this season. He finished the game 20 of 28 for 333 yards and four touchdown passes. O yeah, don’t forget that he also rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns. He made passes that very few to no quarterbacks can make in the National Football League.

The first quarter was unlike anything I have ever seen before as a sports fan. Considering it was against a divisional opponent and on the road, the Eagles looked as if they were playing the Washington Pee-Wee’s. Outside of Michael Vick, everyone seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. Donovan McNabb, who had just earned a hefty paycheck coming into the game, looked like a deer in headlights trying to comprehend the beat down taking place at Fed-Ex field.

The second quarter was where I had a few problems with the Eagles, primarily on defense. McNabb, who we can all agree is a very talented quarterback, set the record for most passing yards in a single quarter. He completed three passes over fifty yards and to watch the secondary crumble after such a strong start to the game was a bit of a concern. Like most of his career in Philadelphia, McNabb does not have many special receivers to throw to, so to see the defense get beat by Anthony Armstrong and Fred Davis is something that cannot happen in the future.

Nevertheless, the Eagles led at the half by a score of 45-14. The second half was not so much different, as Philadelphia improved to 6-3 with a 59-28 record.

Grades:

Welcome the future of the Eagles franchise

Quarterback: A++++++++++++++++++++++

I think I have added my two cents about this. I’m just praying he doesn’t ask for too much money for next season, but whatever it is, the Eagles need to pay him. Secondly, I’m sorry to all of you that bought Kevin Kolb jerseys…they will be $5 dollars before you know it.

Running backs: A –

That run by Jerome Harrison was the most impressive Eagles run of the season. The fact that the Eagles were able to swap Mike Bell for Harrison is a joke, and I think that single rush proved why. Isn’t it nice to have someone who can pick up the slack if McCoy has a bad outing?

Wide Receivers: A+

You would think that the Redskins would not let DeSean Jackson catch a ball over the top of the secondary. Jackson hesitated in the middle of the route and still managed to outrun the secondary and open the game on an 80-yard touchdown (his longest as an Eagle). Jeremy Maclin also posted one of his best games of the season. His 48 yard touchdown catch was arguably the most impressive catch by any Eagle this season. It was also great to see Jason Avant get in the mix on Monday night (5 receptions for 76 yards and a TD).

Offensive Line: A –

Only one sack and three quarterback hits allowed by the Eagles offensive line. Michael Vick truly makes every other player on offense look better. This is especially the case with the offensive line considering how many tackles Vick avoided while scrambling around the pocket.

Kurt Coleman celebrates after his first career interception

Defensive Line/Linebackers: B+

The defensive line did a great job in the beginning of the game getting pressure on McNabb and stopping the run. However, they did make third string running back Keiland Williams look like a prime-time tailback in the second half. Williams finished with three touchdowns and 140 all purpose yards against the ‘Birds.

Secondary: A-/ B+

Aside from the second quarter hiccup, the secondary played very well against the Redskins. Dmitri Patterson is quickly becoming a fan favorite and is playing like the best cornerback on the team. He had two interceptions, including a pick six in the second half. Rookie Kurt Coleman did a great job filling in for Nate Allen, as he recorded his first interception of the season.

Special Teams: B

I’m really starting to get concerned with Jorrick Calvin as the Eagles kick and punt returner. He started off great for the Eagles and made a couple of nice returns, but since then has made more mistakes than plays. He recovered his own fumble after a punt return before quarterback Michael Vick got on his case. Calvin also only averaged 16.5 yards per return, which certainly needs to improve. Also, it was another good effort by Akers and Rocca.

Coming off a win against the Colts, Monday night’s beat down makes the Eagles the team to beat in the NFC East and potentially in the NFC. Michael Vick has changed this season from a “rebuilding year” to a Superbowl-contending season. Next up, another divisional date with the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Maybe they will come more prepared to take on Michael Vick’s Eagles.

For some laughs, you need to check out one of the longest and most intense rants about a sports team I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Enjoy Redskins sports talk host Chad Dukes’ rant after the game.

11
Nov
10

EAGLES: McNabb Has Been In This Situation Before

As the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008, Donovan McNabb found himself in a similar situation as he is in today.

The Eagles were coming off a 13-13 tie against the Cincinnati Bengals in what was one of the most pathetic games I have witnessed in my life. Philadelphia was 5-4-1 on the season, but questions of McNabb being a capable quarterback in the future were lingering around the City of Brotherly Love. In one of the most shocking decisions since Andy Reid became head coach, Reid benched McNabb after the first half when the Eagles were down by more than 25 points to the Baltimore Ravens. He was 8 for 18 for 59 yards and two interceptions and had no answers for the Ravens tough defense. Reid’s decision was the talk of the football world that week and Donovan McNabb’s future was in question as a Philadelphia Eagle.

Donovan McNabb was benched against the Ravens in 2008

Only two years later, McNabb finds himself in an all too similar circumstance as the quarterback for the Washington Redskins. With one minute and forty-five seconds remaining two weeks ago against the Lions, head coach Mike Shanahan pulled McNabb with the game on the line. Shanahan believed, somehow, that Rex Grossman (otherwise referred to as The Gross Rexman or Sexy Rexy) would give his team a better chance to win than McNabb.

Let’s go back to Donovan McNabb on the Eagles. Just one week after one of his worst performances in green and white, No. 5 silenced all of his critics with a dominant performance against the Arizona Cardinals. He completed almost 70 percent of his passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns. Oh yeah, and the Eagles went on to play in the NFC Championship after limping into the playoff picture.

After getting off to a hot start, the Redskins have since fallen to the bottom tier of the NFC. Record wise they are still in the playoff hunt, but there are plenty of problems the team needs to address before Monday night’s game. Is it just me or does this situation seem all too familiar for Donovan McNabb?

I don’t care what critics say, McNabb still has the talent to change football games. He may not be as dominant as he once was, but he always plays well with a chip on his shoulder. Don’t forget, he is playing the Eagles, which brings an element of emotions and revenge to the matchup.

Just like the Eagles in 2008, the Redskins offense isn’t anything to really write home about. They have enough talent though to pose problems for the Eagles defense. Washington’s defense held the Eagles to 12 points and forced three turnovers in an ugly game that came down to a Jason Avant missed catch as time expired.

All I’m saying is not to sleep on the Redskins. This is a statement game for them, and more importantly, a statement game for Donovan McNabb. It’s Monday Night Football so all eyes will be on the NFC East matchup and who knows how it will all unfold at Fed-Ex Field.

04
Oct
10

EAGLES: McNabb’s Return to Philly Highlighted by Poor Play and Injuries

Just when you think everything is starting to fall into place, it all ends up backfiring. The Eagles, who were coming off of one of their best all-around performances in the last few years against the Jaguars last week, completely collapsed when the Redskins came to town on Sunday. There was really only one positive to take away from the game, and that was the fact that the Eagles fans did the right thing and gave Donovan McNabb a standing ovation when he came out of the tunnel.

Four key Eagles players suffered injuries. Starting quarterback and the MVP of the NFC coming into Sunday, Michael Vick, was hit near the goal line after a 25-yard scramble and ended up damaging cartilage in his upper rib cage. Running back LeSean McCoy, who has been the Eagles most consistent offensive player this season, reportedly cracked one of his rib cages and is listed as day-to-day heading into next weekend’s matchup with the Giants. Finally, cornerback Asante Samuel and wide receiver Riley Cooper both suffered concussions and will be monitored accordingly. If you didn’t notice how hard the Redskins hit on television, then just look at the Eagles injury report.

McNabb came away with a win in his first game back at the Linc

The Eagles got off to a terrible start against the Redskins. Donovan McNabb led the maroon and gold to two touchdowns and a field goal on their first three drives of the game. The Eagles defense looked terrible and couldn’t contain Washington’s offense for a majority of the first half. If the defense was bad, the offense was horrendous. With Vick going down early in the game and LeSean McCoy battling an injury the whole game, the Eagles were left in the hands of once-starter Kevin Kolb. Every time he gets on the field it seems like he further digs his own grave. Even though he was thrown into a very tough position in a game with a lot of emotions, Kolb failed to get anything going for the Eagles offense. I’ll save the analysis for the grades.

Andy Reid: F +

To this moment I still can’t figure out what happened at the end of the first half when the Eagles were penalized for a delay of game. Reid said that he “goofed” and didn’t realize that the actual spot of the ball was a foot or so behind his original planned spot. Because of that, he scrambled to call a play and the Eagles were then called for a delay of game that forced them into a field goal instead of a potential game-changing touchdown. As Matt Mosley of ESPN.com writes, “I’m always amazed that a man who’s so revered by his peers in the profession can appear so clueless at critical moments.” Mosley couldn’t have put it any better.

Time and time again we find Reid looking clueless on the sidelines and failing to make necessary adjustments at halftime. Both the Eagles offense and defense looked terrible for most of the afternoon, yet Reid didn’t seem to make many changes throughout the game. I don’t know what goes on in his head sometimes.

Quarterback: C –

After filling in for Vick, Kevin Kolb completed 63 percent of his passes for 201 yards and a touchdown (also had an interception on the hail mary to end the game). On the surface that seems like more an a sufficient outing for a backup quarterback filling in for a starter. However, what those numbers don’t show are Kolb’s unwillingness to move the offense down the field.

He couldn’t connect on either of his bombs down the field. He was efficient in his short passing, however 20 of his 27 passes were for five yards or less. On pass attempts over six yards, he was a mere 2 for 8. Those are not the type of pass attempts and conservative play that is going to effeiciently run an explosive Eagles offense. With the talent of Jackson, Maclin, McCoy and Celek, a conservative offense just doesn’t seem to fit. I understand that he wants to be smart and limit turnovers, but these wide receivers need to be able to run free and get space from their receivers. Defenses, just like the Redskins, can easily adjust to a conservative offense under a conservative quarterback. Case point: taking risks wins football games.

Running backs: B+

LeSean McCoy was the best offensive player for the Eagles on Sunday night. He rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries and led all receivers with 12 receptions for 110 yards. A lot of his receiving success had to do with Kolb’s “short-passing” but it was still very impressive to see Shady play that well with an injury most of the game. His only fault of the game came when he fumbled in the Redskin’s zone that would have led to at least three points for the ‘Birds.

McCoy was one of the only bright spots in the Eagles offense

Wide Receivers: D

DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, one of the best 1-2 wide receiver tandems in the NFL, only accounted for 4 catches for 34 yards combined. Tight end Brent Celek scored his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter, but still continues to remain quiet.

Isn’t it also ironic that Jason Avant, the same Jason Avant that only dropped ONE pass all of training camp, was the one who dropped the hail mary pass on the last play of the game.

Offensive Line: D

Penalties were the main fault by the Eagles offensive line. Jason Peters and Todd Herremans both committed crucial false start penalties. The unit only allowed one sack, but still has yet to string together a complete game together this season.

Defensive line/Linebackers: D +

The Redskins ran all over the Eagles front seven on Sunday. Second year running back Ryan Torain rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown and Clinton Portis added another 55 yards on the ground. There is no excuse for allowing that many yards on the ground, especially to a second year no-namer from Arizona State. Reid’s plan of a speedy and undersized defensive line has not proven to work out because they are getting overpowered by opposing offensive lines. They aren’t getting nearly enough pressure on the quarterback and are not making plays in the backfield.

In the second half the front seven did a lot better of a job, but a lot of that had to do with Washington’s plan to sit back and make the Eagles earn a win. Head coach Mike Shanahan played a very conservative offense after the Redskins jumped out to an early lead, relying on his defense to win them the game.

Rarely do Eagles fans see Jason Avant miss a catch. This was the wrong time for it

Secondary: B –

Even though McNabb only threw the ball 19 times, the secondary did a pretty solid job defending. He only completed 8 of those passes, including a touchdown where tight end Chris Cooley burned the secondary and caught a ball over the top. It was, however, great to see Nate Allen with another interception. He is the only consistent thing this defense has going for them except for Trent Cole.

Special Teams: C +

The Eagles defending of the special teams continues to struggle. Brandon Banks returned a punt for 53 yards, which is something that cannot happen. Offensively, the Eagles had a pretty solid outing from both their kick and punt returners. David Akers was two-for-two and Rocca continues to kick the hell out of the ball.

With the loss, the Eagles are .500 sit in a three-way tie with the Redskins and Giants atop the NFC East. Michael Vick most likely won’t be back until after the Eagles bye week and the uncertainty of the offense and defense leaves many Eagles fans worried about the future. Kevin Kolb is back to being the starter for now and we find ourselves back to square one heading into San Francisco this upcoming weekend.

30
Sep
10

EAGLES: The Return of No. 5

There are a number of people who have been waiting for Sunday, October 3rd to roll around.

First is Donovan McNabb. Sunday will mark his return to Philadelphia on the opposite side of the field for the first time in his 12-year career. He will face the Eagles in maroon and gold, a team the Eagles know all too well. Second is Kevin Kolb. This date marked the highly anticipated matchup between the past and the present/future of the Eagles organization. Thanks to a Clay Matthews hit and accelerated play by Michael Vick, Kolb gets to watch from the sidelines and steer far away from any controversy or drama. And third is the media. As if the Eagles haven’t caused enough drama this season, Sunday is a journalist’s and sports critics dream. Will Andy Reid regret his decision to let go of McNabb? How much of a role will emotion play? How will the fans greet McNabb? I’m sure there won’t be a lack of reporting coming out of the game.

What will happen when the past meets the present on Sunday?

As a supporter of McNabb through and through, I am extremely nervous for Sunday’s matchup. I have written here time and again why I think McNabb deserved another year (and more) in green and white. McNabb hasn’t posted the numbers that he is used to in Philly (only 2 TD passes and 277 yards passing per game), but Sunday’s matchup with the Eagles will be unlike any of his first few games in a Washington uniform. There will be an entirely new element of emotion behind the arm of No. 5. He will be greeted with massive applause (and he better be or Philadelphia is a disgrace) and will be playing with a chip on his shoulder. A very large chip.

As much as the media wants to play into this game as McNabb’s return to Philadelphia, this game is about far more than the Redskins quarterback. For one, it’s the Eagles first divisional game. Knowing how crazy the NFC East has been all year, often regarded as the best division coming into the season and now has more questions than any division in the NFL, I don’t know what to expect on Sunday. All I know is that the Redskins are 1-0 in the division after knocking off Dallas in week one. They have dropped their last two games, but they are both games that Washington should have won. And don’t forget that the Redskins are 3-2 in their last five games played at Lincoln Financial Field.

If the Eagles have one thing going for their explosive offense, it’s the fact that they are playing the Redskins defense. Washington has allowed an average of 423.7 yards per game, ranking them dead last in the NFL. They are 31st in the league in passing defense, but are only 11th in rushing defense. Too bad the Eagles don’t like to run the ball so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Michael Vick’s presence on the field will be the biggest key to the Eagles success on Sunday. He has played the best football of his career the last two weeks, but what we must remember is that he played the Lions and the Jaguars, two of the worst teams in football. Even though he has won over most fans and the media with his athletic ability, he hasn’t done anything until he proves that he can win on the big stage. With the first divisional game against the past face of the Eagles franchise, what better time than Sunday to prove that he can walk the walk and make the Eagles contenders this year.

Defensively, the Eagles will have their hands full with McNabb and the dynamic running game of the Redskins. They don’t have many prominent receivers outside of Santana Moss, but tight end Chris Cooley has always posed a threat over the middle of the field and we all know how much McNabb loves his tight ends. A lot of pressure is going to reside on the secondary’s ability to not let up the big play. Also, the front seven are going to need to put pressure on McNabb and force him into bad throws to his already weak receivers. Then again McNabb has played with a weak receiving core for most of his career so he’s used to that.

Based on the Eagles stock rising, I don’t see the ‘Birds losing this one. Divisional matchups always shake things up and McNabb’s presence will certainly play a factor, but the Eagles are all around the better team.

Let’s see what McNabb has left in the tank and whether or not Andy will be biting his tongue post game.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Redskins 20

22
Sep
10

EAGLES: Move Over Kevin, It’s Now Michael Vick’s City

Sitting in class on my computer today, I received a text message from fellow Philly Phour writer Alex Cohen informing me of the Andy Reid’s decision to make Michael Vick the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Not the starter for Sunday against the Jaguars, but the indefinite starter of the ‘Birds. Needless to say, I was more than taken aback by the reports.

Just two weeks into the season, Vick has already won over the starting job

It was yesterday that Reid stuck by Kolb and told the media that he was still their guy, despite his poor quarter of play and the success of Vick in the last two weeks. It was a decision that Vick “allegedly” accepted and the drama seemed to be over… at least until Sunday when we could assess Kolb’s second start of the season. That all backfired this afternoon when Reid publicly announced that Michael Vick will lead the Eagles, simply because of his “accelerated play”. But don’t worry Eagles fans, this decision “is not about Kevin, it’s about Michael’s performance”.

How is this not about Kevin Kolb? The Eagles traded their best quarterback in franchise history—Donovan McNabb—in order to start fresh with Kolb. Reid mentioned in the press conference that Vick starting will continue to give Kolb the chance to “mature into a championship quarterback”. Did he forget that he said Kolb was ready when McNabb was let go? When they gave Kolb the reigns to the team and the top starting role during training camp? How about the fact that Kolb is 25 years old? McNabb started at quarterback during his first season with the Eagles, not the fourth like Kolb is in now.

I’m not saying that the Vick decision is the wrong decision. To be honest, the whole quarterback controversy has been a mind game from the beginning. I understand on the surface why he is naming Vick the starting quarterback; if anyone watched him run the offense it’s tough to deny that. The NFL is a today league and they named Vick the starter because he will most likely give them the best chance to win right now. And I also understand that nothing is set in stone and the Eagles (and any team for that matter) have to be open to changes throughout the season. However, what has yet to be talked about is not what this means for Vick, but what it means for Kolb.

Kolb was told he was the guy as little as two days ago. He couldn’t control that Clay Matthews is a freak and sent him to the locker room with a concussion. Granted he played terribly the first half of football against the Packers. However, it’s tough to even argue that he was the starter that game. It seemed like Vick came in every other play, which is not exactly the way to let your young quarterback get into a groove on the football game.

As Ashley Fox from the Philadelphia Inquirer points out, “Kolb’s day was supposed to be now. He wasn’t the future. He was the present. And now he’s back on the sideline in a role he knows well.”

After less than a half of football, Kevin Kolb is back watching from the sidelines

Reid could have handled this situation a lot better. Instead of calling Kolb your guy and then a day later changing your mind, why not sit Kolb for another week and not say anything. See if this Michael Vick experiment is really worth it. And more importantly to Kolb, make this a situation for Vick to lose, not Kolb to sit and “mature” as a backup for the fourth straight year. Especially after he was given a $10.7 million signing bonus before the season and promised the fate of the Eagles in his hands, regardless of the outcome of the season. Kolb is human. Even Peyton Manning struggled in his first year as a starter and we all know how that worked out for his career. Let him learn by making mistakes, not spend another year learning how to be a backup, practicing with the second team and getting no game experience.

Finally, this decision to start Reid makes me wonder what the future beholds. If Vick plays well, is he the Eagles new franchise quarterback? Is Kolb on the hot seat? Is all of that preparation for Kolb down in the dumps? What about all of that talk about how he was the perfect fit for Andy Reid’s west coast offense? What if the Eagles end up going 8-8 as opposed to 7-9 and end up still missing the playoffs? Is this move still worth it then?

As John Gonzalez voiced in the Inquirer, “It’s only after you widen the lens and pull back that you see the Birds have just delayed their own long-term plans – the very plans they held up as necessary and smart not even six months ago – in order to execute an impromptu strategy that likely won’t end the franchise’s 50-year drought any quicker.

Clearly this decision was made because Vick is playing better right now, but I don’t care what Reid says, there is a big concern for the future.

This situation also made me wonder why the sudden turnaround from yesterday to today? Did the public’s love for Michael Vick’s ability get to Reid’s head? Did the players come to Reid and say that they want Vick? No one will ever know.

Once again I’m not discrediting Vick. I agree that he is the better decision right now. But Eagles fans need to realize that everything can’t be about right now. Kolb is getting the short end of the stick and is not being given the chance he deserves to win the team and the fans over. Not only will this decision affect him now, it will affect his psyche for the rest of the season and potentially the rest of his career in Philadelphia (if that even lasts much longer). How are you supposed to compete when you know that no one is supporting you? That the front office was quick to shoot you down? He was given a lot of promises, about how everyone was behind him no matter what ended up happening this season. But then again, Andy Reid did also say that McNabb was his quarterback in 2010 and that Brian Dawkins was still a very capable free safety before he traded him to Denver. Clearly there is a lot going on in the background that we don’t know and never will know. It makes me wonder: what big surprise is around the next corner?

For another great take on the issue, click here.




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