The Bitter Pill to Swallow ? The Kevin Kolb Story

The news that Michael Vick had supplanted Kevin Kolb as the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback hardly came as news to Eagles fans and hardcore NFL fans. We all knew once Kolb gave Vick a chance to electrify the fickle crowd at Lincoln Financial Field, then Kolb’s tenure would come to an end. This serves as an example of one of two ways a professional quarterback not in a body cast can lose his starting job.

Kolb is the victim of allowing another talented player to shine. Michael Vick has an obscene 105.5 QB Rating with three touchdowns and zero picks. He also happens to be fleet of foot, so Andy Reid does not have to apologize as often to the starting quarterback and the public for fielding a line that could not dominate a CFL game.

More importantly, the NFL is a win now league. So even though Kolb barely had two quarters to prove his worth he lost the starting job the moment he began seeing flecks of light. This decision, of course, has its share of critics. They are preparing the scarlet latter to brand Andy Reid a hypocrite and lay the foundation for blame in future seasons when the Eagles are struggling to find a player to thrive behind the center.

These critics are right on both accounts though. Reid has publicly stated a player would never lose his starting job due to injury. That is a rare statement in the NFL, where job security is almost non-existent.

At the same time he has betrayed his supposed future quarterback’s confidence. Unless Michael Vick is able to suddenly learn how to put touch on his passes, he will never be more than a rifle arm and pair of speedy legs and not a true NFL quarterback. I know, right now he seems untouchable and the rule changes to protect the quarterback only make him more dangerous this season.

However, at 29 years old I find it hard to consider the durability of his athleticism. Once his legs start to go his lack of touch will become far more unbearable than Kolb’s inability to outrun linebackers.

There is little reason not to trade Kolb now, while many teams are in search of another option because their current quarterback is set to lose his job because of the most common reason, they simply suck.

Suckitude has yet to offer an official statistical definition, but unofficially the quarterback’s version of the Mendoza Line seems to be posting a QB Rating of 60 or below. The Carolina Panthers Matt Moore and the Buffalo Bills Trent Edwards already have lost their starting jobs because of this. Jake Delhomme will lose his once he is considered healthy enough for his injury not to be the reason for Seneca Wallace starting in Cleveland.

A few other players are well on their way to the same fate, namely the Oakland Raiders Jason Campbell (61.9) and the Arizona Cardinals Derek Anderson (66.8). I would have included the San Francisco 49ers Alex Smith (64.9) but his Two Minute drill on Monday night bought him a couple more weeks. Similarly, the Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flacco’s two straight seasons leading the team into the playoffs buys him at least half a season to bring up his 41.2 rating. If Brett Favre will not let age and injury keep him off the field, Brad Childress has no chance of benching him because of a 56.1 rating.

Of course, the Eagles will not likely trade Kolb, wanting their cake and eating it too. Fans better start stoking those coals to brand that “H” (for hypocrite…and hoagie) just in case Vick does not deliver the Super Bowl victory another strong armed, fleet of foot quarterback who will not be named did not bring to the city that pelted Santa.