By Lance Epstein
In a very interesting story today, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated discusses the most compelling quarterback situations heading into the upcoming NFL season. While Carolina finished as top of his list with Matt Moore, Jimmy Claussen and Tony Pike battling it out, the Eagles were No. 8 on his list.
Here is what he had to say on the Eagles quarterback situation:
8. Philadelphia EaglesStarter: Kevin KolbChallengers: Michael Vick, Mike KafkaThe Upshot: There should be no quarterback controversy in Philadelphia this year now that Donovan McNabb has finally met his destiny and become an ex-Eagle. The job belongs to Kolb and he's had three years to prep for this opportunity, much like Aaron Rodgers did replacing Brett Favre in Green Bay. But this being Philadelphia, I'm curious to see how long the fans remain in love with Kolb now that he's not the backup option, but has to turn his promise into production on a week-to-week basis. And could Vick's pinch-hit role in the offense increase with No. 5 out of the way, and is he willing to stay patient and quiet if he has to spend 95 percent of the time on the sideline again in 2010?Potential For Change: We know Andy Reid doesn't do knee jerk, so Kolb doesn't have to look over his shoulder this year. But Vick can't be completely sold on the situation, and how long until someone starts agitating to see what the wonderfully named rookie late-round pick Kafka can do?
While Banks believes the fans will quickly call for backup Michael Vick if the team gets off to a sluggish start cause by Kolb, the Eagles front office has told WIP’s Howard Eskin they are not necessarily sold on Vick's ability to lead the team.
Eskin reported a couple of days ago that the Eagles are worried if Kolb happens to get injured that Vick would not be an adequate replacement. Additionally, Mike Kafka needs time to develop and is not ready yet to be anything more than a No. 3 quarterback.
Still there was a reason the Eagles decided to give Donovan McNabb a one-way ticket out of town. Even if Kolb struggles (think he will be ok), the team will not pull him and let him work through it. If they do pull him, it might destroy the confidence in their young quarterback.
Macho Moving to Corner:
In a interview on 97.5 The Fanatic, head coach Andy Reid was ask whether rookie Nate Allen or Macho Harris could play corner this season. Reid responded by saying if one of the two happened to be moved the most likely of the two would be Harris. Yet, both are going to start the season at safety.
Harris played cornerback at Virginia Tech, but many team's question his speed to play the position coming out of college. The Eagles drafted Harris in the fifth-round of the 2009 draft and had envisioned using his versatility to play both safety and corner.
Ultimately, with Quintin Demps struggling to replace Brian Dawkins, the Eagles threw Harris into the fire in week one. Unfortunately, Harris showed he did not have the instincts for the position and might be better off as a nickel corner.
However, rookie free agent defensive back Devin Ross will push him, Trevard Lindley and Demps for one of their roster spots. Many scouts have compared Ross' style of play to former Eagle Sheldon Brown. He is willing and able to make a tackle and is very physical against bigger, taller wide receivers.
On a side note, Reid stated the team made no effort to try and move back into the first round to get Kyle Wilson, Devin McCourty or Patrick Robinson.
Eagles Numbers Game:
Today, the Eagles officially released the new numbers for multiple draft picks and new acquisitions to the roster. One of the more intriguing stories appears to be Brandon Graham. Last week, it was reported that Graham was going to be No. 94 and in only a week in the NFL, he has switched his number to No. 54. That is a lofty number to live up to considering the last man to wear the jersey with No. 54 on it was "the Ax-man," Jeremiah Trotter.
Here is a list of players with their new number thanks to PhiladelphiaEagles.com:
|New Jersey Numbers|
|DT Antonio Dixon||90 (Was 64)||DE Brandon Graham||54 (Was 94)|
|C A.Q. Shipley||61||RB Martell Mallett||33|
|FB Dwayne Wright||32||P Durant Brooks||3|
|DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim||52||CB Trevard Lindley||35|
|LB Keenan Clayton||59||QB Mike Kafka||8|
|TE Clay Harbor||82||DE Ricky Sapp||94|
|WR Riley Cooper||14||RB Charles Scott||38|
|LB Jamar Chaney||49||DT Jeff Owens||64|
|SS Kurt Coleman||42||DT Charles Alexander||66|
|WR Blue Cooper||80||G Zipp Duncan||63|
|QB Joey Elliott||9||OT Austin Howard||68|
|WR Kevin Jurovich||17||OT Jeraill McCuller||73|
|CB Josh Morris||45||CB David Pender||37|
|WR Pat Simonds||86||FB Chris Zardas||48|
|RB Keithon Flemming||41||DE Eric Moncur||61|
|CB Devin Ross||47||G Shawn Murphy||72|
|FS Nate Allen||29||P Ken Parrish||13|