Before anyone goes there, let me beat you to the punch: When Donovan McNabb was the QB, the Philly fans wanted Feely, Garcia, Kolb and even Vick. Now that Kolb is the QB, some fans are calling for Michael Vick. Are the Philly fans just plain crazy, or are they more intelligent than people give them credit for?
McNabb was a good QB, but he always managed to come up short. He wasn't good enough to elevate the team to the next level. The fans realized that McNabb wasn't the answer, so they rooted for guys like Jeff Garcia and A.J. Feely. Neither one of those guys was better than McNabb, but somehow they won games. The fans realized McNabb wasn't a great fit in our offense and we didn't need him to win games.
Eventually, Reid and the Eagles organization admitted that McNabb wasn't good enough, sending him down route 95 to the nation’s capitol. Enter Kevin Kolb, the Eagles 2nd round pick in 2007. Instead of having an open QB competition in training camp, Andy Reid handed Kolb the starting role. What did Kolb do to earn the starting spot?
While Kolb got reps with the first team, Vick threw passes to practice squad players and other guys who eventually got cut from the team. Playing with the first team, Kolb had a sub-par preseason and couldn't find the end zone in any of the four games. He didn't look good against the Packers, either. You could tell from the body language of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin that they didn't believe in Kolb. Further, NFL analysts couldn't find anything that Kolb did well in the first half. The offense was stagnant with Kolb behind center. When Vick took over in the second half, the offense came to life; they nearly won the game.
Maybe a preseason and half of one football game isn't enough to judge Kolb, but maybe it is. Based on the evidence this year, the only thing we can confirm is that nobody knows if Kolb can play in the NFL. All we can do is trust what Reid tells us. Meanwhile, we have a backup quarterback who has been to multiple pro bowls, and has won games in the post season.
You have to wonder whether it's fair to say that Vick looked like his "old self" yesterday, because it's hard to remember when Vick was ever as poised a passer as he was against the Lions. He was 21 of 34 for 284 yards and 2 TDs with no turnovers. The numbers don't really even tell the story. How many times did he stand in and make a great throw on a play where he knew he was about to get blasted? He was accurate, he was calm under pressure, and generally looked fearless out there. I've never been a big fan of Vick as a QB, but there's really nothing to criticize. The guy played fantastic.
After 1.5 games, Vick has proven that he can win games for the Eagles. Kolb hasn't shown anything. Time will tell if Andy Reid is a genius, or if he is just being a stubborn moron. I hope he is right about Kolb, but I don't know how you can keep Vick on the sideline after what he has shown.
If Kolb loses the next 2 games, Reid better hand the keys over to Vick.