Kevin Kolb Will Make Eagles Fans Forget About Donovan McNabb Quickly
As the Eagles hand the reigns to Kolb, just what can Eagles fans expect? From what coaches and many members of the media say, Kolb could be as good or perhaps better than Donovan McNabb.
And, there's that school of thought of those who fear the unknown. Sure, he had two fantastic starts last year, but we really won't know what we have until about 5-6 games in.
Based upon my observations last season Kolb can run this offense more efficiently than #5. He's accurate, makes good decisions, doesn't take too many sacks (sacked only 3 times in two starts), and is a natural leader. Not to take anything away from Donovan McNabb, but we have seen plenty of worm burners, failed two-minute drives, and inexcusable sacks during his tenure to understand his limitations.
McNabb never was a West Coast-style quarterback either, while Kolb is. Added to that, let's not dismiss his arm as just an "average NFL arm." During that Chiefs game he showed off quite an arm on many plays. While he wasn't going up against the likes of Darrell Green or Deion Sanders, you have to give the kid credit for dismantling an NFL team in just his second career NFL start.
Klingler was thrown to the wolves and played for a terrible organization in the Cincinatti Bengals. Andre Ware was overmatched from day one in the NFL, playing for a bottom feeder in the Lions, and never able to comprehend an NFL offense.
The Philadelphia Eagles (aside from not winning that elusive championship) are one of the most well-run organizations in the past decade. Furthermore, Kolb sat on the sidelines for three seasons and was able to soak everything in.
Does this mean that we should expect Kolb to throw 30-35 touchdowns this year? That would be a lofty expectation. However, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for him to have a season like Philip Rivers in his first season as a starter 2006 when he threw for 22 TDs and just 9 picks.
Let's just hope he doesn't turn out to be like Philip Rivers, who has a big mouth and is a choke artist in the big games.
Kevin Kolb also has many young weapons on offense at his disposal. The offensive nucleus of Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Brent Celek, and LeSean McCoy makes up one of the most talented offensive cores in the league. The Eagles will have little problem putting up plenty of points.
The X-factor in Kevin Kolb's first season as the Eagles' signal caller is the offensive line, which has a plethora of question marks.
Jason Peters, while garnering a lot of love from around the league was a penalty machine and at times a turnstyle. He certainly has the talent to become an elite left tackle in this league, but has overcome those lapses which have plagued him throughout his career. In 2008 he surrendered 11.5 sacks. In 2009, his sacks allowed went down (surrendering just seven) he led the team with 11 penalties.
This has to improve. Center Jamaal Jackson is unlikely to be ready for the beginning of the season as he still recovers from a torn ACL. Therefore, an inexperienced Nick Cole will likely be the starting center in September.
Stacy Andrews' first season as an Eagle was a disaster. Will we return to his form from a few years ago? He has to be healthy and get on the field first, so that remains to be seen. If he's not healthy, then Max Jean-Gilles will step in, who was at times abominable last year.
Todd Herremans is probably their most reliable starter on the O-line. We know what we have with him.
Believe it or not, Winston Justice is now the second most reliable option on the O-line behind Herremans. Justice got cremated by fans for years and rejuvenated his career last year.
With all of the question marks surrounding the Eagles' offensive line, it's no wonder why they're rumored to be after free agent guard Chester Pitts who could be another Stacy Andrews as he's recovering from microfracture knee surgery.
Assuming that Jason Peters can regain his 2006 form when he gave up just two sacks coupled with quality play from Cole and Andrews (or Jean-Gilles) then the Eagles offensive line should be just fine. Juan Castillo is one of the best coaches in the biz, so expect him to coach these guys up.
Kevin Kolb has a chance to grow with the Eagles' most talented offensive nucleus in quite some time. That coupled with an improved offensive line will make for an extremely successful season for the young gun slinger.
And, very quickly we will forget about Kolb measuring up to McNabb.