The news that Michael Vick will not play able to play against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5 means that the Eagles will give the ball back to their opening day starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb. Vick set the league on fire and gained a massive fan base in Philadelphia this season after replacing Kolb and putting on some electrifying performances. Vick may be the hot name right now, but Eagles fans would be wise to pay close attention to Kolb and give him a chance to earn a place in their hearts, because he is more likely to be the guy lining up under center for the Eagles in 2011 than anyone else.
There was a reason that fans were purchasing Philadelphia Eagles tickets in the offseason thinking they’d be seeing Kevin Kolb at quarterback; the Eagles felt strongly enough about this young man to trade arguably the best quarterback in franchise history in Donovan McNabb. Kolb gained the trust and admiration of the Eagles coaching staff over the past few seasons and the team obviously felt that he was ready to take his place as the team’s starter. It’s not like Kolb was pulled in the Green Bay game for a bad performance; he was injured. The only reason we even saw more than three quarters of Michael Vick football this season was because Kolb had a concussion that kept him out of Week 2.
One has to wonder what would have been had Kolb been cleared to play in Week 2, probably nobody more than Kolb himself. Eagles fans should appreciate how Kolb took the eventual demotion in stride and showed his support for Vick, not rue the fact that he’s back under center. The team is lucky to have two competent quarterbacks, and they’ll see the fruits of that benefit when Kolb faces the Niners. This is not to say that Kolb is going to torch a respectable San Francisco defense and make people forget that Vick even exists, but he gives the Eagles a better chance to win than most backup quarterbacks would.
Vick will be the starter when he returns to full health; he’s played too well not to, but it’s no lock that the Eagles will retain the former number one overall pick beyond the 2010 season. Vick hasn’t faced a truly tough defense yet this season and could fall out of favor later in the year if he struggles in big games. We’re four weeks into the season and there’s a lot of football to be played.
As far as I can tell, it actually seems more likely that Kolb will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2011. Vick is set to become a free agent at season’s end and will certainly command a rather large contract on the free agent market. Will the Eagles be willing to pay big money for a guy that has already shown his playing style to be reckless enough to get himself hurt when they’ve got a young gun they recently had a lot of confidence in waiting in the wings?
A lot of answer will probably have to do with Vick’s performance once he returns, but Kolb’s play in the next game or two could be a major factor as well. So my message to Eagles fans is simply this: Instead of simply waiting for Vick to come back, make sure to pay attention to Kolb and give him a chance to win you over. You might need him more than you think. SABUNG AYAM