On the eve of the start to the 2011 season I would like to offer an opinion that hasn’t been shared too often. In my first Fan Post I would like to start a discussion as to why we should keep Kevin Kolb for the upcoming season.
Ok so, most everyone believes we will trade Kevin Kolb the minute free agency starts. Almost everyone I have heard from believes it is a good idea to trade him now while his value is high. I used to agree with that thinking until recently. I realize that (hopefully) we are getting closer to a resolution of the legal proceedings and the lockout will be lifted. The new league year will be starting and free agency will follow. Maybe I’m just getting cold feet, but I am starting to question the wisdom of trading Kolb. Here are my reasons why.
1. What does a trade add?
Do we really have an idea on what we can get in exchange for Kevin? I know most writers and analysts have been saying we should be able to get a first round pick, or a player, or a pick and a player; but there are a couple of problems with this thinking. First of all, do we even know for sure there is a team that will give up a first? Maybe there is a team that will give up a first but how will that pick help us to win a Super Bowl THIS YEAR? Will that pick end up being a top 5, or the 30th pick? Will the player we end up choosing be Ray Lewis, or Brian Bosworth? The speculation that a #1 pick NEXT year gives us a better chance to win the Super Bowl than having a solid back-up THIS year, is the worst type of speculation. Kolb is a known commodity, and although not as good as Vick, were Vick to be IR’d early in the season (knocking on wood like a mutha) I would feel confident that the season would not be over. Ok, maybe not good enough to win the Super Bowl, (who knows) but I know that we would at least finish better than 500 and could still contend for a playoff spot.
THE #1 GOAL IS TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL. We can only win with good coaching, a solid 60 minute team-effort every game, consistent QB play, and a little luck. In the draft we added a couple of potential starters, and a couple of role players. We're trying to build a great TEAM. On every great team you have the top guys, the playmakers, role players, and the do-dirt guys. Kolb serves as an insurance policy that knows and has the confidence of the team.
2. Injury to Vick?
What would our plan be if Vick was injured early in the year and put on IR? (knock, knock on wood) What if he got hurt in the playoffs and we had to start the #2 guy in the NFC Championship game? There are all different kinds of nightmare scenarios we could throw out there, but the point I want to make is having Kolb on the team is a great insurance policy. He can manage a game when we need him to, control the clock, and just distribute the ball to our playmakers. I trust him running the offense in a pivotal game over ANYONE brand new to the team. He knows the offensive playbook better than anyone else on the team now, or anybody we could bring in (except McNabb?).
3.Vick is not able to play at a high level.
What would we do if Vick just flat out doesn’t play well and at mid season we’re at 3-5, or 2-6? (I hear all of he moans, I see the looks of disapproval) But,...what if? Does whoever else we bring in play any better than a struggling Mike Vick? Do we go to Kafka? Do we...? Kolb offers us a starter that is a student of the game, and has already been under fire. If he is given enough time in the pocket, he is capable of putting together long drives. He is seasoned enough now that he should be as good this year as we can ever expect him to be. If we brought in a new back-up there would still be an adjustment period. In this potentially abbreviated off season, stability at key positions will separate the teams that start fast and those that stumble out of the gates. I personally believe there isn't any Eagles fan who can honestly say they would prefer to start Kafka in an important (Playoff) game over Kolb, no matter how high Kafka’s ceiling is.
4. Is there anyone we can bring in that would be a BETTER back-up than Kolb?
Ok lets face it if we trade Kevin,.. THEN..all of our hopes are pinned to the fact that Vick plays as well or better than he did last year... AND.... that he doesn’t get hurt. I don’t know what the odds would be if he could manage to do both and I definitely wouldn’t want to bet on it. I believe in Vick. I believe he is a changed person. I believe, we have the talent on offense to win a Super Bowl. If the Eagles offense is to be firing on all cylinders in 2011 Vick HAS to be healthy, HAS to read defenses better, HAS to get rid of the ball more quickly, and HAS to get better protection from the O-line. (thats alot of HAS)
The Kevin Kolb question has to boil down to if we think we can win a Super Bowl this year, OR if we think we’re still a year away. If we’re a year away still, than great, trade Kevin and build for next year. If we believe we can win this year, than we need the best team this year. Thats offense, defense, special teams, role players, and coaching. I personally believe with better protection from the o-line or a better pass-rush or better secondary play we WILL challenge for a Super Bowl in 2011. In that case I hope we keep Kolb, ... but never have to use him. (unless its an Eagles blowout)
By trading Kevin Kolb that will be putting all of our eggs into one (6 foot tall, 200 and ten pound basket), I just hope we don’t end up with egg on our face.