Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Couple of Things

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My new PE.com column is posted.

--LINK--

I took a look at a handful of items.  Nothing groundbreaking.


KOLB TALKS

Kevin Kolb was recently interviewed by a Texas newspaper (here).  Luckily, he said all the right things.  Kevin said that he wants to start, but is more focused on doing what is right for the team.  He said that he trusts Andy.   I don't think Kevin said anything wrong and I'm glad to hear him come out and say that he wants to start.  That shows he believes in himself.  The way he said it shows that he understands how to deal with the media, something that is critical for QBs in the modern world. 

VICK TALK

Michael Vick said on the Dan Patrick Show that he still sees himself as a Top 10 QB.  In what, the NFC East?  Gimme a break, Mike.  Your last good start came in 2006.  That was so long ago that Plaxico Burress still had a bright future.  Okay, maybe I'm being hard on Mike.  He did play well for us in the 2nd half of the season.  He threw the ball more accurately and looked like a QB.  His TD pass vs Dallas was a thing of beauty.  I still never saw the jets that he terrorized the league with as a runner.  He showed some quickness and burst, but he never looked like a dynamic runner.  And that was his trademark with the Falcons.

Here's my problem with Vick.  Did he show me enough to make me think he should be the starting QB of my team?  Mike was 6 of 13 passing on the year.  That's nice, but hardly enough to make me feel comfortable with him as my starter.  Forget all the character stuff.  That's a whole other discussion.  I'm setting that aside and focusing on the football angle.

Vick showed me that he can be a good teammate and quality role player.  He didn't complain.  He fit in well and he became a good Red Zone weapon.  I know that had McNabb gotten hurt late in the year Kolb is the guy I would have wanted running the team.  He's a QB that I believe in.  He's put in the work.  Mike is a talented player, but a starting QB?  I'm not so sure about that.

I'm interested to see what kind of trade offers we get.  People keep talking about him going to a team for a pretty high pick.  I hope so, but sure as heck don't see that.  I think it was SalPal who reported Buffalo might be interested.  I just can't see Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey being interested in Vick.  St. Louis gets mentioned a lot.  Steve Spagnuolo is coming off a 1-15 season.  He needs a young guy to sell the fans or a quality veteran.  Vick is a question mark.

I sure hope some team does see Mike as a starter and gives us a pick somewhere in the 3rd or 4th round.  I can't imagine there is even a remote possibility of anything higher.  I do hope I'm wrong.
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21 comments:

Tommy Lawlor said...

In the last post someone asked about the Texas vs The Nation AS Game. That is Saturday. I'll be posting some thoughts this week and then after the game of course.

Pitmanite said...

By him saying "still" a top 10 QB that would mean that at one point he was a top 10 QB. Now granted he won more than his putrid passing stats would've indicated, but top 10 might be rewriting history a little bit. I always felt bc of his talent and highlight plays he was always a bit overrated.

Myron said...

Re: Peppers -

The Eagles should pursue him, but under no circumstances should the Eagles sign him to a record-breaking contract. Offer something reasonable, but if he demands Haynesworth-esque money, move on. Peppers is a great player with lots of potential, but he's not THAT game-changing @ 30.

Re: Kolb and McNabb -

The past few weeks I've really been drinking the Kolb Kool-Aid. After those painful losses to Dallas I was very willing to focus all of my disappointment on McNabb. After Tommy wrote the article supporting the move to Kolb, my eagerness to trade McNabb grew even stronger.

But earlier today I decided to take a look back at those two games Kolb played this year:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d812c3479/WK-2-Kevin-Kolb-highlights

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d812f26de/WK-3-Kevin-Kolb-highlights

And one thing sort of popped out at me that I didn't really notice before: Kolb has a remarkably weak arm. I mean, you grow so accustomed to focusing on Donovan's particular weaknesses that you sort of take for granted the fact that he has no problems putting plenty of zip on the ball and fitting it into tight spots with ease. We've even taken the "long bomb" completely for granted as a routine play. After watching some of Kolb's passes I have to admit that the floater-like quality to the majority of his throws, and the fact that the long bomb will mostly be relegated to a small segment of the playbook, has me worried if Kolb does indeed take the reigns at some point. Sure he may be more accurate and he may make quicker decisions than McNabb, but I think there is a reason we've seen so many interceptions thrown by Kolb in his limited playtime: if you don't have an elite NFL arm (which Kolb certainly does not, but McNabb does) your tendency to throw interceptions dramatically increases. Defenders will find Kolb passes exponentially easier to pick off than the lasers McNabb throws.

Something to think about.

Stephen said...

I disagree, Joe Montana had a noodle arm and he was one of the best all time. The reason Mcnabb doesn't throw a lot of interceptions is because he doesn't take a lot of risks. This backfires on him because he needs a reciever to be wide open in order to throw to him.

When was the last time Mcnabb consistently connected with the long bomb anyhow? He throws the damn thing 5 yards out of bounds now. I think 2004 was the last time I really felt like Mcnabb was accurate with the deep ball, he seemed to connect a lot with Todd Pinkston with it.

Kolb has a weaker arm than Mcnabb, but he's not Chad Pennington or anything, its not that weak that I'm actually concerned about it.

Kevin said...

Kevin's arm strength is weak relative to McNabb, not relative to what he needs in the NFL. Jeff Garcia was able to hit bombs to Stallworth, so you know Kolb can do the same with a faster DSJ and Maclin.

Myron said...

Stephen: McNabb had quite a few long bombs this year. He missed 2-3 the last few games the Eagles played, but he had at least 5+ touchdown passes this year to D-Jax that were long bombs (Redskins games, Bears game, 49ers game, Giants games).

I honestly don't see Kolb making those plays, like, ever.

Sure he can still connect with D-Jax on crossing routes and hope that D-Jax can get monster YAC (he did this in the Chiefs game), but having that deep, deep threat of McNabb -> Jackson as a key part of the playbook was a nice thing to have.

izzylangfan said...

I thought Kolb's arm strength was more than adequate. However, this is difficult to judge in two games on TV. I will let Reid and company make that determination. Going with Kolb entails some risks for sure. The key on arm strength is not just how strong it is but how defenses will play him and how Kolb is able to find a way to make the throws he needs to successfully including a low interception rate. What we learned in those two games is that Kolb might have what it takes to be a successful NFL QB. Extrapolating his interception rate is probably not fair.

Regarding Vick as a starter. Why shouldn't Vick believe that he can return to be a successful starter. The truth is that he was never a top 10 quarterback because he never really learned the position, opting instead to default to his athleticism. He never developed the judgment, poise, or throwing savvy so that one could say he mastered the art of leading his team as a passing QB. I suspect that his time with the Eagles put him in the correct direction towards mastery. At the same time I think that many teams will be thinking that with the proper coaching and his basic talent Vick could be an excellent choice to lead their offenses. Yes, there is risk. But I think this is a risk many will be willing to take. Mastery- no, but significant assets and experience-yes. And a long way to go to top ten.

Edward said...

Re Kolb:
I do see your point, his passes do sometimes make me wonder why on earth they're taking so long to get there. However in both games when he really wanted or needed to put some zip on it he could and did. We're used to Donovan putting all his might into every throw, Kolb seems to use a little more discretion. I don't really know how many of the deep go ahead Td's he'd have completed that Donovan threw this year but Desean did have some great stats in the two games he played.
He had 3 ints in his 2 starts, all 3 in one game, a game against the team 3rd in the league in INT's. His first was plain bad, came at a time when we were still in the game and did really matter. Both of his others were in the last 2 minutes of the game when we were behind big and he was trying to make a play. One of which was a hail mary type shot in the final seconds of the game. Donovan probably wouldn't of thrown those first two INTs but it was Kolbs first NFL start. He then had no picks the following week.

Myron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Myron said...

Poor arm strength, in this case, will be detrimental in the following ways:

- Passes with less velocity are more easily intercepted. It's relatively safe to assume that Kolb will throw more interceptions than McNabb simply because 98% of quarterbacks will throw more interceptions than McNabb. Donovan has the best touchdown/interception ratio in the history of the NFL. A non-trivial reason for this is the zip he puts on every single pass he throws - he has a tremendous arm and the capability to fire rocket balls on every play. Conversely, a quarterback like Kolb who exhibits pedestrian arm strength will give defenders far more time to react to passes and open far more opportunities for interceptions. He can compensate for this, to some extent, by making good reads and exhibiting intelligent decision-making, but if we are looking at the underlying physical causes for turnovers, Donovan has the clear advantage here. Kolb's performance thus far bears this out: he's thrown 2-3 picks thus far in his limited playing time caused by low-velocity passes. Almost all of the picks Donovan has thrown this year have been strictly due to WR/QB miscommunication or bad decision-making on his part.

- Let's assume that Kevin is given the starting job next year. Once defensive coordinators begin to accumulate film of Kevin playing, and begin to realize that he lacks an elite NFL arm that can effectively stretch the field, these coordinators will begin to gameplan accordingly. The key to beating Kevin will be to disregard the deep stuff and take away the short crossing routes and screen passes. In this way, he will be significantly hindered in future games in a way that he wasn't thus far in his first two starts. Think about Kyle Orton and how much he struggled against teams that contained the RAC on the short stuff and disregarded the deep stuff. The Steelers exploited his limited arm strength and contained him with ease. The Eagles mostly did the same thing.

Again, his quicker/better decision-making may make up for his physical limitations when compared to McNabb, but as of right now, I'm going to be worried that next year in Kolb we're looking at a 15-20 interception QB who can't regularly complete the deep pass we've enjoyed so much with DeSean. There's really nothing so far in all of the preseason games, the mop-up duty, and the two starts earlier this year to give me an indication that he even *has* the capability to put zip on the ball if he wants to.

izzylangfan said...

McNabb has I believe the lowest interception rate in history so we can expect Kolb to throw more interceptions than Donovan.

Donovan's interception rate is low because he throws hard, because he throws those worm burners that no one is going to catch, and because he is highly risk averse. Kolb's arm may be weaker than McNabbs but some of his interceptions were on balls that were softly thrown on purpose. He has to learn when to zip it and not throw those soft lobs down the middle. He needs to learn how to throw people open and much more. Will he learn? Who knows? But that exactly is the risk.

frankfurtler said...

It should be interesting to see what the compensation for Vick might be. He did make a few nice plays for the Eagles this year.

Teams will consider his time as a starter from ATL I think and that did not go to well towards the end, He won 2 of the last dozen or so games he started for them.

Myron said...

If they can get a 2nd-rounder from a scrub team like Buffalo or St. Louis for Vick, I will be positively ecstatic. Best possible scenario, imho, because anything higher than a 2nd rounder would be impossible, and getting a high 2nd round pick in this loaded draft class will be simply amazing.

Dan said...

Myron: I'll take accuracy over arm strength any day of the week. But especially on Sundays.

Cliff said...

In fairness to Vick, the summer before his world blew up everyone was talking about how much progress he was making as a passer in the off-season.

I remember this distinctly because my hometown paper covers Vick regularly. That summer coaches, pundits, and players were raving about how big a season he was set to have.

We never got to find out, of course, but maybe some of that hype will return in trade discussions.

Personally, I'd like to keep Vick for this season. I like what he potentially adds as a red zone threat.

izzylangfan said...

A great judge of football talent I am not so I am grateful that Reid and company are making the decisions. That said, I do feel that Kolb should be given a chance. As an Eagles fan I have loved every minute of the Donovan McNabb era and should the Eagles keep him as their man I will continue to enjoy Donovan and the Eagles and root for all without reservation.

Here is why I believe that Donovan has topped out.

1. His accuracy is not great and has not improved, particularly on short passes. This forces the Eagles to use an offensive strategy that overly relies on the long pass. I note that one writer recently stated that the Eagles do not use the West Coast Offense which is really based on the short passing game to partially replace the run. I guess there is some question here as to whether the Eagles odd version of the WCO is due to McNabb's skill set or Reid/Morningweg preference. But I beleive that a better short passing game is important for the Eagles.

2. He is highly risk averse and does not pass unless his receivers are clearly open. He does not really trust his receivers to go up an get a jump ball and he does not throw his receivers open. Perhaps we saw some small improvement in McNabbs willingness to throw a jump ball with the advent of Jackson and Maclin over the last two years but this has been more than offset by McNabbs regression where he now holds the ball too long and tends to lock onto a specific receiver telegraphing his passes and missing open receivers.

3. His attitude. His attitude is not terrible but there is something about the way he carries himself the suggests he thinks that he has mastered everything there is to master. He distances himself from everyone in an interview as if to suggest that he is above criticism. He is playful, yes, but it sometimes seems inappropriate. While I do see him as a QB who has mastered many of the aspects of the position I see also someone who needs to improve to get his to get his team to the next level. I do not see in McNabb the commitment to get himself to the next level. Of course I only see him in press interviews, so I could be and actually hope I am wrong about this.

Good luck to Andy, as always on his upcoming personnel decisions.

Cliff said...

I'm sure most of you will see this as the day goes on, but NFL.com reported that Dick Jauron is close to being hired by the Eagles as Defensive Backs Coach.

Edward said...

Spuds mentions it in his latest article and there is a mention of it in a bloghead style article i think.

Good move? Some seniority and experience would be invaluable as long as he's a good fit.

geoff said...

Tommy,

What' you take on the Vick is staying rumor? I think if true, def McNabb or Kolb is going to be traded or they are blowing smoke. I don't see them keeping all three. no way they have Kolb as the 3rd string again.

izzylangfan said...

I agree with those who want to go after Peppers if he is willing to sign a reasonable deal. If we sign Peppers and use a high pick on another DE, the Eagles could cut Howard and Clemmons saving $7 million and ultimately (next year perhaps) cut Parker saving another $3 or $4 million. Thus the Eagles potentially could replace Howard, Clemmons and Parker with Peppers, Albiamiri (should he develop and learn to stay healthy, and the 2010 draft pick. Given that Howard, Clemmons and Parker are costing the Eagles $10 million per year you could get Peppers for a reasonable cost increment over what the Eagles are now paying for the position.

Brian said...

Couldn't we work out a "fake" record-breaking deal with Peppers -- where he could say he got ridiculous money and we'd cut him after two or three years? Who's going to pay him Haynesworth money?

Thoughts on Jauron, tommy?