Kolb ready for the job

In case you missed it, as first reported yesterday by our guy Adam Caplan for Scout.com, the Eagles yesterday extended QB Kevin Kolb through the 2011 season.

Let me say for the record right now that we’re very high on Kolb’s fantasy value in 2010. Being from the Philly area, we’re at an advantage in that we’re very knowledgable when it comes to the team. And not only that, Mr. Caplan regularly attends Eagle practices. Our own Joe Dolan worked for the Eagles in their media department in 2008 as an on-air talent and reporter, so he’s all over the Eagles as well. I am, of course, very familiar with the team, since it’s the local team in my area. But we’re not “fans” or “homers” as we’re sometimes accused of. In fact, the Eagles weren’t even “my team” growing up, and they still aren’t. Truth be told, I’ve always kind of disliked them, mainly due to the obnoxious segment of their fan base (it’s not everyone, but I’ve spent time in the old 700 level at Vet, and it was pretty scary/comical up there). But over the last decade, I have come to respect how they do business, and how can you not be impressed? Yeah, they’ve come up short, but they’ve been one of the five most consistent teams the last 10 years.

Caplan’s seen Kolb in practice regularly the last three years, and he’s fully convinced he’s ready for the job. In fact, if you’ve been reading our stuff closely over the last two years, you know we’ve said the shift to Kolb was definitely coming – even if McNabb was still playing at a relatively high level, which he is.

The biggest problem with McNabb is that he’s simply not a good fit for their offense. McNabb stifled the offense. I truly believe they morphed into a big-play offense because throwing the deep ball was the only thing McNabb did really well as a passer. But that approach made their offense a little hit-or-miss. Granted, it meant a lot of big plays to WR DeSean Jackson, but it also prevented them from sustaining offense well.

With Kolb under center, the Eagles will be able to run a true west coast offense. The ball will come out of Kolb’s hands quickly, and with timing, anticipation, and accuracy. Timing, anticipation, and accuracy just happen to be three aspects McNabb struggles with. Sure, Kolb could certainly hit a few rough patches, but you can say that about all but 4-5 starters in the league.

In addition to being very encouraged by the very nature of the offense and head coach Andy Reid as it relates to Kolb’s fantasy value, as well as their solid receivers, I’m very confident in the switch simply because Kolb’s had a ton of time to prepare for this. The Eagles have seen him every day in practice for three full years, and now we’re into a fourth. That’s a long time, and that they traded McNabb to a division rival is yet another sign they are incredibly comfortable with the move.

We’re going to do a full analysis of this, but think about the recent QBs who fit Kolb’s profile of having 2+ years to sit back and learn. The track records are very impressive. For one, these players greatly benefit from sitting back and learning. But also, if a team has seen a guy in practice for that long and then commit to him, that’s a really powerful endorsement to me because they see him every day and they know him from top to bottom. When teams commit to guys like Kolb, it usually works out.

Again, we’re going to do a full analysis on this, but here are a few key names to consider.

Aaron Rodgers – Three full seasons behind Brett Favre, and in his very first season as a starter the guy threw for 4000+ passes and accounted for 32 TDs.

Philip Rivers – Two full seasons behind Drew Brees, and while it was a little rough early, he’s obviously a tremendous player.

Tony Romo – Things got hairy for him early in his career, and he was almost cut a couple of times, but he spent 3 ½ seasons on the roster/practice squad. They didn’t let him go because they saw something in him over the long course of that period of time he wasn’t starting, and they were obviously right.

Matt Schaub – Little different situation in that he was traded, but there was a large sampling of Schaub as a backup (three years), and that was long enough for the Texans to go out and get him. That’s worked out pretty well.

Matt Hasselbeck – He spent two full seasons as a backup in Green Bay, and part of a season as one in Seattle. He’s had a really nice career.

David Garrard – Nothing special for fantasy, but pretty darn solid when you compare him to many #1 draft picks who’ve flopped in the NFL, and there have been many. Garrard sat on the bench for three full seasons before he ever attempted more than 75 passes in a season.

Matt Cassel – He’s nothing special physically, but when the Pats needed him in 2008, he was ready and he did a great job. He did so because he sat on the bench for three full seasons. They kept him for those three seasons for a reason, and they were right.

Two other current players who had at least one year on the bench include Tom Brady and Carson Palmer.

Some players are able to step right in from Day One, like Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. But for every Ryan there’s probably five JaMarcus Russell’s, so starting right away isn’t for everyone. But my main point here is this: If a QB’s in the league and on a team for two or more years, and then he gets an opportunity – especially when a team is completely willing to give him that opportunity like Rodgers, Schaub, and Romo – then history shows the player will excel.

Some people thought the Packers were nuts to let Brett Favre go for Aaaron Rodgers and how’d that go?

In fact, ruling out career backup types, I’m hard-pressed to find a good example of a player who sat for two or more seasons only to fail when finally getting his chance. Maybe Alex Smith, but he’s showing some progress now that he’s had time on the bench. I can’t use Brady Quinn as an example, either. In fact, Quinn helps prove my point: the Browns clearly had reservations about committing to Quinn, and rightfully so.

So I love Kolb this year. The only question is: how high do we rank him? I’m currently trying to figure that out working on our projections (which we’ll have out late next week). Assuming Brett Favre is back, and that situation got a little cloudier today with the news that he needs surgery on his ankle, Kolb’s now in the 9-11 range, so I’m clearly comfortable saying he’s a viable fantasy starter.

Category: Fantasy Football

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

24 Responses

  1. JBeau says:

    I am very comfortable drafting him as my #1. Totally agree with you. Pass heavy offense, and they hardly ever run the ball into the EZ. Maybe a little more this year with Bell, but still. as always, I will be holding off on my QB until round 6 – 8(depending on the league) and stocking up on other guys. Kolb, McNabb, and Cutler are my targets this year. I know Mcnabb doesn’t have great options, but he is still a good QB.

  2. John Hansen says:

    Like Flacco a lot more than McNabb this year. Plus Ryan, Palmer, and Manning. You may be right about McNabb, but just going off of what we know now without being able to look into the future, it’s hard to make a strong case for him over those others.

  3. Baller says:

    I’m looking forward to some analysis on Flacco as well. Boldin, Mason, Stallworth, Heap, Clayton, Dickson, Rice, McGahee, McClain, Pitta, plus the killer offensive line. That offense has some weapons right now.

  4. colorado fan says:

    Good take on Kolb. He also has a favorable schedule coming up based on last yr.’s points against. In mock drafts now he can be had late 7th in a 12 team draft usually. Needless to say a good value there.

  5. John Hansen says:

    BTW, Caplan and Cosell were at their first practice today. Adam said he looked great, totally in command.

  6. JBeau says:

    Probably right about Flacco over McNabb, but I just can’t bring myself to draft him as my #1 guy.

  7. MI-5 says:

    Jason Campbell sat for a year and half and before last year never threw more than 13 TD’s. The team was so impressed with his progress that they dealt him to the Raiders for a 2012 (yes two years from now) 4th round pick.

    The draft class Kolb was in included Russell and Quinn, so maybe third time is a charm.

  8. MI-6 says:

    Campbell also has had 8 diffrent OC’s in 10 years…

  9. Off The Hook says:

    The Cardinals have been committed to Leinart, does this one work out too?

  10. DDQ says:

    How is the O-line? A good O-line is a new QB’s best friend. While I think McCoy will be ‘fine’, he’s no Westbrook in terms of being dynamic and in terms of giving the QB an easy outlet. If that line is shaky, Celek should get a lot more balls but I’d wonder about the value of D Jackson.

  11. Marseille Boyo says:

    John, who do you see as the main beneficiaries in the switch to Kolb? Celek for sure. Is there a WR you are now particularly high on? Thanks for the insight.

  12. LJP says:

    John, good analysis and early call on Kolb. Why can’t he finish in the top 5? Almost every year there’s a surprise QB that ends up in the top 5 that was ranked outside the top 10 in the preseason. Unless people continue to underrate Rodgers and he slips to the middle of round 2, I’ll wait on QB this year and be very happy with a Kolb/Cassel combo. Cassel is another one who will be underrated and could be in for a bounce-back year with Weis as O-coordinator.

  13. John Hansen says:

    I’m actually liking the value of Jeremy Maclin more so than Jackson. Maclin’s a good inside receiver, yet he can make big plays. I think he might be as good as we thought Santonio Holmes might be (and he’s been pretty damn good anyway).

  14. Eric says:

    Think of where you would rank McNabb if he were still with the Eagles. There is the baseline for Kolb.

  15. Bear says:

    Anyone going to take Brees this year? Anyone believe in the Madden curse?

  16. JBeau says:

    I wouldn’t waste an early pick on Brees regardless. Some mocks I do, he goes in the 1st round, and never makes it outta the 2nd round. Way too early for me to take a QB. And yes, I do believe in the Madden Curse.

  17. Paul says:

    I know this is all about Kevin Kolb but just read an article about Felix Jones being the #1 back in DAL and now your tweet. What’s the deal with that? The article out of the DAL Morning Star/News? Said they want to flip flop the number of carries for Felix Jones and Marion Barber. That would be huge news for fantasy! Get Felix some touches!

  18. John Hansen says:

    Paul, They transitioned to that late last year, and we’ve talked about it a lot since that started. We’ve always felt he could be a lead back. However, he won’t be a true feature back in the traditional sense. But if he gets 15 carries a game and stays healthy, he’ll be really nice. It took a while last year, but he showed why we were so high on him. He bounced back from injuries well last year, but he did still miss time after missing time his rookie year, so durability is still a concern.

  19. markinsand says:

    how things change…I remember reading here that Kolb looked like he’d never be ready to take the job … the fickle world of ff!

  20. John Hansen says:

    Mark, sometimes some comments may slip through the cracks but overall we’ve been pretty clear over the last 2+ years that Kolb was going to be the guy and that he looks up for the job.

  21. LukeHawk says:

    John,

    So do you think that D Jackson will see reduced receptions and yards?

  22. Jay Alan Spateholts says:

    John,

    What if any value will Kolb lose to Vick? The fear is not that Kolb won’t play well, but that Vick will steal touchdowns in the red zone.

  23. John Hansen says:

    I think Jackson will see a slight reduction in catches, but otherwise he should be fine. Vick could steal a few scores in close, but it shouldn’t be a serious vulture situation.

  24. Bob says:

    If you really believe Jackson is going to start to lose out on receptions I don’t think you can say DJax is #1 WR, he had about 60 receptions last year, especially in PPR formats.

Leave a Reply