After leading the Eagles through what was probably its most successful decade, Andy Reid decided to trade away the franchise quarterback, Donovan McNabb, and give the reins to the apprentice, Kevin Kolb. Make no mistake however, this move does not drop the talent level at QB. Kolb is ready.
How do I know? The biggest signal was Reid’s decision to trade McNabb. McNabb and Reid shared a relationship that was more than coach and player. Their connection ran deeper and their relationship more closely resembled that of friends or even brothers. So, in essence, Reid traded away his brother for a few lousy draft picks. The move wasn’t designed to get a stud in the draft. It was designed to open the door for Kolb and get him on the field.
I trust this decision as I would believe in religious dogma. The Eagles front office has been on fire lately in regards to recent personnel decisions on offense (Jackson, Celek, Maclin, McCoy, Weaver). I don’t know if they made a deal with the devil in order to get this successful, but throwing Kolb out there to start the 2010 season will round out this group of young guns and will further demonstrate that the Eagles personnel department knows what they are doing.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider this: Kolb has been primed. Kolb is no rookie, coming in green a la Matt Leinart in 2006. He wasn’t thrown to the wolves like Matthew Stafford in 2009. Think Joe Flacco was a success as a rookie? How about last year? If so, then you’ve got low standards. Kevin Kolb has had three years to grasp the system. He has had three years to watch and learn from one of the best QBs to ever put on an Eagles jersey. For three years, he was prepared by one of the decade’s most successful coaching staffs. It is now his turn to start, and he will do so with an explosive surrounding cast in an offense that passes the football more than most.
Scouts praise Kolb’s accuracy, which is a must to run the West Coast offense. Believe it or not, Kolb will be more accurate than McNabb; both in completion percentage and when it comes to hitting his receivers in stride, allowing them to gain more yards after the catch. Besides accuracy, Kolb has the quick release and poise that scouts drool over. Factor in that Kolb has never missed a game in college or the pros and your chances of getting a full 15 fantasy stat lines makes Kolb very appealing.
Kolb started two games last year. The first was in a blowout loss to
the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. In that game, Kolb hit DeSean Jackson for a 71 yard bomb and finished with 391 yards, 2 TDs, and 3 INTs. In his second start, he picked apart the Kansas City Chiefs for 327 yards and 2 TDs. He also had a 70% completion rate in that game. The man can rack up the stats. Moreover, Kolb is quick on his feet. In both games, he was sacked only once and he scored a TD on the ground against KC.
Kolb will have a couple of poor stat lines as well (what QB doesn’t?). While the Eagles have great talent at the skill positions, they are all young. Gone is the veteran leadership of McNabb and Westbrook and it has yet to be seen how this new collection of young stars will respond to pressure. But overall, in an era where passing rules the sport and on a team that passes 65% of the time, Kolb will easily approach 4,000 yards. I fully expect that as some of the higher ranked QBs fail to meet expectations, Kolb will climb the charts and finish as the 7th-rated fantasy QB. Draft him late, but expect great things.
Joey Litz has been playing fantasy sports since the late 80s - back when it was all referred to as rotisserie and as commissioner, kept track of the leagues with a USA Today and a pencil. It's a passion of his during the NFL season. Thanks to the Fantasy Cafe for providing a forum for enthusiasts like us to get together. You can find Litz posting in the Cafe forums as joejlitz.
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