Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rodgers & Kolb?

It's amazing how some people in the Philadelphia and national media have this idea that Kevin Kolb and Aaron Rodgers should be in the same sentence.  Yes they both sat behind franchise quarterbacks for a few years, Rodgers behind John Maddens favorite name to say, Brett Favre and Kolb behind the greatest air guitar player in the world, Donovan McNabb.  But that is about where the similarities begin to split.

In Rodgers early starts there was quite a bit of backlash from Packer fans.  The Packers had traded away a future hall of fame quarterback and Green Bay icon for an unproven guy with zero career starts.  The fans in Green Bay still believed that they had a shot if they would have kept Favre.  History has now sorted itself out with Favre, first being disowned in Green Bay for wearing purple and gold in Minnesota and strongly diminishing his career achievements for an off field issue with a multi-media text.  Kolb on the other hand had it a little bit easier; for a few months anyway.  Before the Eagles shipped McNabb to Washington, the fans in Philly were ready for a change.  They believed that the McNabb era had run its course and we had gone as far as we could.   There was a sense of excitement about the beginning of the Kolb era, some even bought his jersey only to replace it with a number 7 after week one (more on that later).

Aaron Rodgers has elevated himself into the hottest young quaterback in the NFL.  He is the 2010 version of the 2009 Drew Brees model.  For the past three years he has put up ridiculous numbers in 47 regular season starts:

Year        Yards          Comp %      TDs      INTs
2008       4,038           63.6            28         13
2009       4,434           64.7            30         7
2010       3,922           65.7            28        11

Not to mention that this years post season performance was among one of the best in NFL history.  With a super bowl win and some flashy numbers, Aaron Rodgers has now established himself as a top 5 NFL quarterback and easily the number one pick in fantasy drafts around the world come August.

Kevin Kolb, who sat behind Donovan McNabb, was named the starter and after a half of football lost his job.  There was a point this season where I really thought that Kolb would earn the starting job back.  Going into the Tennessee game on October 24th Kolb had guided the Eagles to a pair of wins in two starts.  I still believe that if the Eagles win that game, Andy sticks with Kolb for the remainder of the season.  Instead the Eagles lose and Kolb does not look impressive at all.  Back to the bench he goes.  Kolb's resume so far contains nothing but pedestrian numbers:

Yards    Comp%   TDs     INT's
2,082    60.8         11        14

Kevin Kolb may have the tools to reach the level that Rodgers has obtained, but I believe we will not watch him get there in an Eagles uniform.  In Rodgers first year as the starter the Packers went 6-10.  For a team that lets a franchise quarterback go they must be willing to take a step back in the hopes of regaining their winning ways.  It takes a quarterback a good two to four years as a starter to really see if they've got it.  The Eagles were not willing to do that last season.  Some would argue that the poor play of the offensive line caused Andy Reid to go with the much more mobile Michael Vick.  The truth is, Michael Vick was the better quarterback and gave the Eagles the best chance to win now.  If the Eagles had a better defense they could have been the ones holding the Lombardi trophy on Sunday.  Will Kolb return or will he be the guy in San Fran, Arizona, Tennesse or maybe he will be taking his talents to South Beach, but that is another conversation for another post.

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